Research Updates

Research Articles

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.

The super-view of super-RTW

contributorJoy Hewitt

What do supervisors think about multidisciplinary vocational rehabilitation programs?

Tackling stress online - the evidence

contributorFriyana Bhabha

A web-based approach to managing stress and mood disorders

Success with systems at work for shoulders

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

Shoulder problems are common. Having a standard management system in place can streamline return...

Shoulder pain out of the way

contributorFriyana Bhabha

Rotator cuff treatments that work...and a couple that don't!

But I don't have a problem! Young workers and risky drinking

contributorFrancesca McSteen

Young male workers need to be educated about the work and health consequences of risky drinking.

Overcoming PTSD

contributorFriyana Bhabha

What psychological treatments work for post traumatic stress disorder?

Opioid use: less is better for back pain?

contributorFriyana Bhabha

Treatment with opioids delays return to work and prolongs symptoms

Multidisciplinary rehab program shows benefits beyond the short term

contributorTom Wells-Quinn

A two-year study shows the continuing benefits of comprehensive rehab.

Self management strategies: Coaching the coaches

contributorFriyana Bhabha

Many self care coaches have no formal training. Does coaching the coaches improve performance?

GP briefing: Depression

contributorFriyana Bhabha

An evidence-based guide for managing depression-related occupational disability

Leadership in the workplace

contributorFriyana Bhabha

Does good leadership promote good health?

Satisfied? Not really, boss

contributorJulian Fernando

Management and supervisors overestimate the level of satisfaction workers have in their jobs.

Working for wellness

contributorGabrielle Lis

On the job rehabilitation can improve outcomes for people with psychiatric disabilities.

I'll need a sick leave certificate too, doc...

contributorJoy Hewitt

What prevents doctors from applying best clinical practice when issuing certificates for sick leave?

School of pain

contributorAndrea Thompson

How effective is individual patient education for people with low back pain?

What's the source of that pain in the neck?

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

Neck pain is a common condition in workers, and psychosocial factors influence outcomes.

Meeting the needs of injured workers

contributorAndrea Thompson

Peer support helps put the pieces back together after workplace injury

Taking control of arthritis

contributorAnna Kelsey-Sugg

Psychosocial approaches to managing arthritis help sufferers make the most of medical care.

Nurturing case management

contributorHannah Bourne

Might a more involved approach to the case management of workers with musculoskeletal disorders...

Back pain World Cup

contributorHannah Bourne

How do different country's disability benefits and policies for occupational low back pain...

Safety drive

contributorHannah Bourne

Do health promotion programs improve the health and driving safety of truck drivers?

Fear, expectation and back pain - the evidence

contributorFriyana Bhabha

Knowing what psychosocial factors affect recovery from low back pain can help target employee...

RTW Coordinators on RTW Coordinators

contributorGabrielle Lis

From the horse's mouth: The competencies required for success

Experimenting with health policy

contributorHannah Bourne

Occupational health research IS relevant to policy development: but what kinds of research are best?

Does talking cure fight depression?

contributorTom Wells-Quinn

Psychotherapies are an important but underutilised part of depression treatment

Learn to return

contributorJoy Hewitt

A number of simple initiatives can have a positive impact on timely return to work and decrease...

RTW interventions assessed

contributorAndrea Thompson

A mixed bag of workplace interventions have been trialled over the last 20 years. What works?

Diagnosing back pain

contributorTom Wells-Quinn

A step-by-step guide for best practice diagnosis of back pain

Chronic Fatigue: NOT a dead end - the evidence

contributorGabrielle Lis

Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), graded exercise therapy (GET) and good planning get chronic...

Back problems: beliefs and recovery - the evidence

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

A person's beliefs about back problems influence how they engage with treatment, so providing...

Back pain and pessimism: A vicious cycle-The evidence

contributorTom Wells-Quinn

Pessimistic beliefs about back pain can prolong suffering and prevent proper treatment

Despair and low back pain: Connecting as a starting point-The evidence

contributorFrancesca McSteen

People with chronic low back pain can lose their sense of control over life, a major...

Back pain and work: Psychosocial factors. The evidence.

contributorFrederieke Schaafsma

A range of studies explore whether psychosocial factors contribute to the development of back pain

Back pain and work: Physical factors - Physical work. The evidence.

contributorFrederieke Schaafsma

What does the research tell us about physical work and the impact on back pain?

Low back pain: Which treatments work? - The evidence.

contributorHannah Bourne

Less invasive treatments should be first port of call for low back pain.

Blame is not a game

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

Researchers have developed a questionnaire to help identify when perceptions of injustice may be...

Critical illness, brain impairment and RTW

contributorAndrea Thompson

Are neurocognitive impairments being identified early enough, or at all, after critical illness?

Age + overtime = Lower productivity??? - the evidence

contributorTom Wells-Quinn

Research shows that older workers CAN work overtime and remain productive

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