The John Walsh Centre for Rehabilitation Research (JWCRR) has completed a rapid review on best practice vocational programs.
This report outlines the published evidence on vocational programs between 2009 and 2019
Aim of the project: To identify best practice for vocational programs that are designed to support worker’s rehabilitation and recovery.
Publication details: This research report was prepared by the John Walsh Centre for Rehabilitation Research.
Stakeholders involved: SIRA and John Walsh Centre for Rehabilitation Research.
- The impact of delayed return to work on injured people is a serious concern.
- There is a strong body of empirical evidence that shows the longer an injured worker is away from work, the less likely they are ever to return.
Best practice for VR programs:
- incorporate multiple components i.e. healthcare, service coordination and workplace/employer components
- have early intervention
- are tailored to meet the individual worker’s needs
Workers injured at firms with employer RTW programs were more likely to return to work
Modifying work equipment was associated with the greatest reduction in injury duration relative to any other stand-alone program component.
Multi-component, comprehensive VR programs:
- seemed more able to integrate the differing perspectives of the various RTW stakeholders
- facilitate cooperation and commitment to the goal of work-disability reduction
- demonstrate improved and sustained work reintegration, and reduce costs associated with work-related injury or illness.
Service coordination components play a critical role in keeping all stakeholders informed keep them working together toward a common goal.
All vocational rehabilitation programs should:
- incorporate healthcare, service coordination and workplace/employer components
- commence early after injury/illness
- be individually tailored
- target workers who are at a higher risk of delayed return to work
- involve employer and other stakeholders
- encourage stakeholder awareness of the value of work for health and recovery.
Read the best practice vocational program rapid review here.
Download a PDF of this page: Best practice for vocational programs June 2020.