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 physician guidelines improve return to work rates?

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

A Dutch study has shown that adherence to guidelines by physicians can help lead to earlier...

Research short: What is the best way to evaluate permanent impairment?

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

A study has raised doubts about whether the new edition of the American Medical Association...

Research short: Professional supervision for rehab providers

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

A survey of rehabilitation and return to work managers in Queensland has led to calls for...

Research short: Exercise and the treatment of chronic pain

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

Researchers have developed an effective treatment for the vexing condition of Fibromyalgia...

Research short: Improving RTW outcomes with pain coping skills

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

Injured workers may have a better RTW outcome if they undergo pain coping skills training before...

Research short: Occupational therapy for psychosis

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

A study has shown promising signs of success for helping people with mental health issues join...

Research short: Abnormal tactile sensations in chronic pain

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

Canadian researchers have highlighted the lack of knowledge about the causes of abnormal and...

Research short: What med certs tell us about sickness absence

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

A Swedish study has shown that what doctors and employers will permit on medical certificates...

The impact of values

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

Can employees' values improve their happiness, absence rates and health?

Guided internet-based cognitive behavioural treatment for chronic back pain reduces pain catastrophising

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

A randomized controlled trial from Sweden offers hope for chronic back pain sufferers.

Research short: Managing arm pain in computer users

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

Ergonomic keyboards can help reduce the effects of recurrent arm pain in office workers.

Research short: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

Disability is more likely if a patient worries about their illness.

Research short: My boss makes me sick

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

Poor management often leads to higher levels of employee stress and sickness.

Research short: A happy work is a healthy work

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

Positive workplace environments are necessary for workplace health programs to be successful.

Research short: Cutting down sick leave

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

Another study confirms the link between poor workplace culture, poorly defined roles,...

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.

Research short: Less involvement from senior management leads to overbearing confidence

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

A study has shown that the less senior managers are involved, generally, the more likely they...

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

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