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Health service use of compensated workers with low back pain project

For: Claimants Employers and managers Service providers Advocates Information seekers

To determine the profile of health service use for compensated workers with low back pain compared to other musculoskeletal conditions.

Project update

In June 2019, Comcare, along with Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria and South Australia workers’ compensation schemes, shared de-identified data with Monash University to assist a low back pain project with Australian compensated workers.

Preliminary results were presented by Monash University at an advisory group meeting on 26 August 2020. Monash University has also shared an interim report with key stakeholders across the jurisdiction titled ’The profile of low back pain in Australian compensation systems: a retrospective cohort study’.

Monash University is now planning to conduct similar research into other health services, such as treatments provided by general practitioners, physiotherapists and psychologists.

Project participants

Project lead

  • Monash University

Other organisations involved

  • SafeWork SA
  • WorkCover WA
  • WorkSafe QLD
  • WorkSafe Victoria.

Why this research is important

This research project is part of our Research Plan Towards 2022 and supports our purpose to foster work participation and recovery.

Finding ways to help injured and ill employees return to work as soon as it is safe to do so, has benefits for both the employee and the employer.

We know good work supports people’s mental and physical health and wellbeing.

We also know that being off work for extended periods can have serious long-term effects including isolation and depression. Experience shows that the longer someone is off work, the less likely they are to return to work.

More information

For more information on this research project, contact research@comcare.gov.au.

Page last reviewed: 11 May 2022
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GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 366 979 | www.comcare.gov.au

Date printed 26 Jun 2022