Apart from the injured person, injury can also affect family, employers, healthcare providers and others.  This 'ripple effect' of injury is increasingly recognised. This study documents the community and societal impacts of injury and the interactions between parties involved in compensation processes.

Within a compensation system, there are many people involved in supporting an injured person to recover. These include the employer, colleagues, case manager, healthcare providers, family and friends. 

We know that social support is an important factor in recovery after injury, yet the reverse of that (the impact that injury and compensation process involvement has on other parties) has not received much attention.

We also know that effective rehabilitation and return to work requires that these other parties collaborate to ensure the injured person receives appropriate treatment and care. However there has never been a rigorous study of the interactions between these parties in Australian compensation systems.

Led by Professor Alex Collie, a research team hopes to address these issues. 

The team has secured funding from the Australian Research Council industry linkage grants program, and the support of industry partners WorkSafe,  the TAC and Comcare.

Where to now?

This team developed a model that conceptualises the impact of compensable injury on individual, community and societal domains. This model will make it easier to discuss and interrogate the various streams of impact.  

The research team then conducted qualitative interviews with various parties involved in the compensation process, including case managers, healthcare providers, injured people, and their families.  A number of publications are in train from these studies.

Finally, the research team have used a case study design to examine the interactions between various parties involved in the compensation process. The case study methods included review of case files, policy documents and further qualitative interviews with injured people and their family members.

The final report from the study is due late in 2015. Watch this space for updates.