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.

Competencies required for effective return-to-work coordination

contributorJoy Hewitt

A recent review of the literature has identified the core competencies that are important for...

Coaching the chronically ill

contributorFriyana Bhabha

Education, behavioural change and support: Effective coaching methods to assist patients

Mismanaging depression

contributorTom Wells-Quinn

What are the barriers to effective management of depression in the workplace?

Is your arthritis a pain in the back?

contributorHannah Bourne

This study investigates the link between osteoarthritis in the facet joints of the spine and the...

Does zest for work influence return to work?

contributorAndrea Thompson

Job satisfaction and engagement both influence work attendance.

Does safety education save backs?

contributorHannah Bourne

Can workplace back safety education programs reduce the risk of back injuries and complications?

Doctors and back pain: Who you see influences the treatment you get

contributorHannah Bourne

While some doctors follow best practice guidelines for lower back pain, many get it wrong...

Back pain? Stick a needle in it!

contributorHannah Bourne

Researchers examine the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating chronic low back pain.

Healthy work environment = Healthy workers

contributorFrancesca McSteen

Workers care about support and respect in the workplace and notice whether health and safety are...

6 elements of successful workplace health programs

contributorFrancesca McSteen

Want healthy workers? A well designed workplace health program can help!

When to take extended sick leave. A complex decision for workers with spine-related pain

contributorJoy Hewitt

This study identified a range of factors that influence when workers with neck and low-back...

Ways to whip whiplash

contributorHannah Bourne

An overview of whiplash injury

It is personal

contributorHannah Bourne

The factors in your private life that may affect your professional one

Healthy at work

contributorHannah Bourne

Productivity declines more when unwell people are at work rather than absent.

Feeling the pinch - what does sickness cost the employer?

contributorHannah Bourne

Investigating these costs more thoroughly will enable employers to develop strategies for...

Assessing workplace productivity losses. Questioning the questionnaires

contributorHannah Bourne

When looking at the factors which impact upon workplace productivity, we also need to look at...

Pain or gain

contributorHannah Bourne

Research shows that health improvement programs are both physically and financially successful.

Poor health linked to lower productivity

contributorHannah Bourne

Why investing in worker health may boost productivity.

Help us help you

contributorHannah Bourne

How to maximize employee participation in workplace health promotion programs...

The sick truth

contributorHannah Bourne

The factors that increase employees number of sick days.

Screening the future

contributorHannah Bourne

Clinicians and leading researchers evaluate the effectiveness of early screening in preventing...

The missing link

contributorHannah Bourne

Clinicians are good at putting medical pieces of the patient-puzzle in place. What happens when...

Need a hand?

contributorHannah Bourne

The factors which impact workers with hand injuries returning to work

Injury blues

contributorHannah Bourne

What factors increase the risk of injured workers developing depression?

Is RTW training for supervisors worth it?

contributorHilary Hoare

Training gives supervisors clarity and confidence; and clear, confident supervisors support RTW.

Powerful partnerships

contributorJoy Hewitt

The evidence is in: when employers join workers on the RTW journey, the sky's the limit!

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...

Dos and don'ts of rotator cuff treatments

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.