Kolling researchers have taken out a highly-competitive, national award for an innovative program helping people get back to work after injury.
Professor Michael Nicholas and Dr Manasi Mittinty from the Pain Management Research Centre were part of a team which received a National Safety Award of Excellence for their initiative.
The program was trialled with staff from Australia Post and involved early identification and intervention for workers at risk of delayed recovery following a work-related injury.
Participants in the intervention arm of the trial were offered up to six sessions with a psychologist or counsellor, and a workplace rehabilitation provider to assist with barriers returning to work. This was in addition to the medical and physiotherapy care normally provided for such injured workers.
Michael said while the long-term follow-up is continuing, the benefits of this approach have been so clear that Australia Post has already implemented the program for injured workers across the country.
“We have shown that by adopting this additional support, injured workers are getting back to their job in less than half the time of those receiving usual care,” he said.