Research Updates

This page lists all research updates available on Return to Work Matters.

Research is chosen for review based on quality of the evidence and its practical value in return to work.

Requests to undertake reviews of research on particular subjects are welcome.

Click the ‘Topics’ button below to drill down into all articles and research updates on your topic of interest.

Research Short: Do managers suffer from more stress?

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

A Danish study debunks the myth that managers are often more stressed than employees.

The less involved senior managers are, the better they rate health and safety

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

Hands-off senior managers overestimate the safety and health of their workplace compared to...

Research short: Attending work while sick

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

Flexible sick-leave policies can reduce sickness absence.

Research Short: Professional drivers and chronic back pain

contributorSean Gleeson

A Finnish study raises questions about previous associations between professional car driving...

Research short: Is there a better physio treatment for chronic lower back pain?

contributorSean Gleeson

A new study suggests therapeutic climbing may trump a standard exercise regime in treating lower...

Research short: Work is good for you, but...

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

The UK's treating practitioners say that work is beneficial, but how do they actually behave...

Research short: The pre-employment examination drain

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

Do pre-employment medical examinations reduce sick leave? Are they value for money?

Research short: Is integrated care value for $?

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

A European study of an integrated care program for workers with long term back problems shows a...

Research short: Doctors or managers - who affects sickness absence?

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

Danish researchers find that management approaches and levels of employee decision-making...

Research short: Mixed opinions

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

When dealing with complex or ambiguous medical problems, only half of treating practitioners...

Research short: Armed against arm pain

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

Reducing repetitive work is not the only option to consider when attempting to accommodate arm...

Research short: Cancer and work

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

Who is more pessimistic about the impact of cancer on working life: cancer survivors or...

Research short: health risks and disability

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

Individuals with disabilities are more likely to engage in risky health behaviours like smoking...

Research short: flexible work reduces sick leave

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

Workers who have the option to work from home are 1.5 times less likely to take sick leave than...

Research short: Does job coaching help people find work?

contributorHannah Bourne

What does the evidence say about the effectiveness of job coaching for people who cannot return...

Research short: link found between pain symptoms and confidence

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

Believing that you can cope with whatever life brings you has a positive impact on pain symptoms...

Research short: First contact

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

Early contact with injured workers is good for RTW, right? Well, that depends! It's not so much...

Research short: Understanding who wants what

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

Different RTW players have different objectives. Research suggests that this knowledge can help...

How do workers with neck pain fare, and what influences their progress?

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

Neck pain commonly follows a persistent or recurrent course. Between 60% to 80% of workers who...

Off the clock and on the ball

contributorJoy Hewitt

This follow-up study examined the relationship between the after-hours physical activity of...

A caring doctor is an important predictor of the success of return to work programs

contributorJoy Hewitt

Return to work programs are more likely to have positive outcomes if participants have a stable...

Empowering workers to stay in their original employment.

contributorAndrea Thompson

Based on the rationale that it is easier to keep a job than to find a new one, the new focus of...

What helps RTW for people with chronic pain?

contributorJoy Hewitt

Surveys can help identify factors that will improve RTW.

Arm pain and RTW - work modifications that work

contributorAndrea Thompson

Lessons learnt from an integrated case management approach for arm problems

Expecting the worst and fearing pain are tell-tale signs of slow RTW

contributorJulian Fernando

Identify high-risk patients to pip long term back problems at the proverbial post

Disability management interventions provide economic and health outcome benefits

contributorJoy Hewitt

There is solid research evidence that return to work management programs improve the 'bottom...

Using the ICF as a conceptual framework to guide ergonomic intervention in occupational rehabilitation

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

A broad and comprehensive approach to exploring return to work issues is provided by the...

A chicken and the egg problem: Self efficacy, sickness absence and return to work

contributorJulian Fernando

If you feel you can cope with a difficult situation will you get back to work earlier?

Health and wellbeing: Take it online and show me the money!

contributorHannah Bourne

Do online physical activity programs work? And are cash incentives good for motivation?

Look after others, and look after yourself!

contributorJoy Hewitt

A self-evaluation tool is described which may assist healthcare professionals to develop...

Job control, job demand and workplace health

contributorTom Wells-Quinn

Changes in psychosocial aspects of work affect employee health and wellbeing

Do obese workers cost more?

contributorHannah Bourne

Investigating obesity-related costs for employers.

Screening for distress

contributorFriyana Bhabha

Studies suggest that it is possible to identify workers at risk of developing psychological...

An all round approach to Fibromyalgia

contributorFriyana Bhabha

Fibromyalgia can be managed through a combination of physical and psychological rehabilitation.

Team ergonomics

contributorAndrea Thompson

This literature review examines some examples of the positive effects of participatory ergonomic...

Supervising recovery

contributorAndrea Thompson

Employer response to injury impacts employee recovery. This study identifies where employers go...

Overtreatment HURTS

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

The US demonstrates how overtreating back pain causes more pain.

Improving disability management in the workplace

contributorHilary Hoare

What works when designing disability management programs in the workplace?

Back pain and work: Personal factors

contributorFrederieke Schaafsma

A range of studies assess personal factors and how they influence work-related back pain

Kapow! Beating obesity and high blood pressure through workplace intervention

contributorHannah Bourne

Clear goals and helpful tools ensure that workplace interventions pack a real punch