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: 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

Why work gets us down...

contributorTom Wells-Quinn

Understanding the causes of depression in the workplace

Hospitable RTW

contributorJoy Hewitt

Employer reactions can determine RTW outcomes: making workers welcome matters

Burn-out busters! The benefits of psychosocial coaching - the evidence

contributorFriyana Bhabha

This study looks at the effect of preventive coaching on employees with psychosocial health...

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?

Workplace health and wellbeing : You've got to be in it to win it!

contributorAnna Dunn

Comprehensive equals effective when it comes to workplace health and wellbeing programs...

Treating back pain: when surgery does not make the cut

contributorHannah Bourne

A review of the effectiveness of non-surgical treatments for chronic low back pain.

Want to reduce sick leave? Be a good leader!

contributorTom Wells-Quinn

Good organisational leadership reduces sick leave and disability

The surprising incidence of pain in young adults

contributorFriyana Bhabha

Short and long term pain is common in the 18-25 year old age group.

The lowdown on leg pain or sciatica

contributorTom Wells-Quinn

There is debate over how to classify sciatica, and how common it is.

The great unknown: risk factors for co-existing chronic pain syndromes

contributorJoy Hewitt

The current understanding of the occurrence of multiple regional chronic pain syndromes is...

The 'work ability' divide

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

Who falls in the anti-collaboration chasm when doctors and insurers have different ideas about...

Should you put your neck out for exercise

contributorHannah Bourne

How effective are exercises in treating mechanical neck problems?

Teamwork: what works?

contributorDr Mary Wyatt

Teamwork is an art and a science. Learn to nurture it with style!

"But I didn't touch him"

contributorFriyana Bhabha

What is non-physical violence, and how does it impact the workplace?

She'll be right: Under-reporting injury in the workplace

contributorFrancesca McSteen

According to one study, only 52% of work related injury and illness gets reported

Pain beliefs can hold you back

contributorHannah Bourne

What do people with different kinds of back pain believe about pain and how do these beliefs...

Seeking compensation for major trauma after accidental injury - more stress than its worth??

contributorJoy Hewitt

A clinical study has identified that the development and persistence of post-traumatic stress...

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