The return to work process: Much needed research on the way

by 23 Jan 2012

New research is being conducted into the skills and behaviours needed by supervisors to help workers return to work after injury or illness.

In world first research, Dr Venerina Johnston of the University of Queensland’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, will focus on what workers returning to work after a mental disorder or musculoskeletal injury need to succeed ,and what supervisors need to do in order to ensure a smooth return to the workforce.

“The results will provide the first evidence base to develop a training program for supervisors that is specific to the Australian setting,” Johnston said.

Despite many endeavours, return-to-work rates have not improved across Australia over the past five years, and supervisors play a pivotal role in the return-to-work process. Yet, the specific knowledge, skills and behaviours supervisors require to assist this process have never been identified in the Australian setting, Johnston commented.

“This research and the subsequent development of a training program will result in long-term benefits in terms of preventing work disability and reducing compensation costs,” she said.


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