Speaker: Dr Carys Chan, Research Fellow, Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing, Griffith University
Return to Work – What research is telling us
This was a fascinating presentation, in which Dr Carys Chan was able to take us through some very detailed research in a really accessible manner.
Carys is one of the authors of a paper commissioned by Safe Work Australia and published last year, entitled "Response To Injury: Research to support workers’ psychological responses to injury and successful return to work". It is an 88-page report that gathers research from the past decade, and Carys was able to give us a concise summary of the main findings and recommendations that certainly piqued the interest of all present.
It is good to know that Australia is doing reasonably well in this area compared with the rest of the world though, of course, there is still room for improvement. Carys explained how a multi-disciplinary approach is the most impactful in achieving success. She also spoke about enhancers to return to work, such as removing the stigma of disability and ensuring role clarification.
Other enhancers include characteristics of the person themselves, one of which is education. I was intrigued by this and followed it up with Carys during question time. I wanted to know if that meant a person's level of education or rather how much they have been educated in the RTW process. Carys said it was actually the former: the higher the level of education, the better the RTW outcome. As an example, someone who has learnt that failure is a part of success will have a more positive approach. I thought that was a really valuable message.
If you would like to read the whole research paper, click here.
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