In addition to the different experts participating in the P4W Consortium, a Panel with external experts of recognized prestige in the field has been created in order to advise, review and improve the different educational materials and results generated throughout the project.
Professional Qualifications / Memberships:
Dr Venerina Johnston is a researcher and Associate Professor in Physiotherapy at The University of Queensland. She has qualifications in physiotherapy, occupational health and safety and work disability prevention. Her research interests are in the prevention of work-related musculoskeletal problems and the prevention of work disability following a compensable injury. Venerina has a rich background in occupational rehabilitation and injury management from the perspective of the insurer, provider and employer.
There is a debate over the source of neck pain in office workers. This debate is focused on two main areas (1) what is the source of pain and (2) can asymptomatic and symptomatic workers be differentiated on any physical measures? This research project is focused on understanding the source of pain to help target interventions for the prevention of neck pain in office workers.
Various interventions have been trialled to address painful neck disorders in office workers. As the workplace is becoming the arena for many health initiatives, my research is exploring interventions which can be implemented at the workplace and the impact on presenteeism and absenteeism of these interventions. We are currently testing the impact of an exercise plus ergonomic intervention to impact productivity and neck pain in office workers in Brisbane. Please contact me if your organisation is interested in participating.
It is recognised that line supervisors play a pivotal role in the return-to-work process. However, the specific knowledge, skills and behaviours necessary for supervisors to assist workers return to work after a compensable injury or illness have not been identified in the Australian setting. This project identified the needs of supervisors who are required to support staff returning to work after a mental health disorder or musculoskeletal injury. The results have provided the evidence base for the development of a training program specific to the Australian culture and compensation environment. A training program is currently undergoing pilot testing. The long-term benefits of such a training program will be the prevention of work disability and a reduction in the duration and costs associated with compensable injuries. Please contact me if your organisation is interested in participating or if you would like to undertake a PhD to complete this project.
This study explores whether adding self-management training to vocational rehabilitation had an impact on work readiness, health efficacy and pain. We developed and tested a new model for the occupational rehabilitation of workers with chronic compensated musculoskeletal disorders by adding self-management training to the usual care. Self-management programs have been shown to be effective for chronic conditions in particular diabetes, heart disease, asthma and arthritis, but is new in the field of work disability. This project was funded by an Australian Research Council linkage grant.
- Diploma in Workplace Disability Prevention, Université de Sherbrooke
- Graduate Certificate in Management, University of Southern Queensland
- Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
- Bachelor of Physiotherapy, The University of Queensland
Steven J. Linton is Senior Professor of Clinical Psychology who has focused his research on the role of psychological factors in the development and treatment of pain. To this end he has conducted several impressive longitudinal and clinical studies to identify key processes in the etiology of chronic pain and disability. This has also resulted in theoretical advancements including the fear and avoidance model and a model for the interaction of emotions and pain. He has also worked diligently to provide interventions. A host of randomized controlled studies lay at the base of these psychologically oriented treatments for patients with severe chronic pain problems including exposure in-vivo and a hybrid, emotion-focused therapy that he has pioneered. Rather than simply treat chronic pain once developed, Professor Linton has also paved the way to an early identification system based on psychosocial factors for patients with back pain in primary care coupled to early, preventative interventions. Most recently his work has focused on implementing very early preventive interventions focusing on communication and problem solving techniques as well as evaluating the effects of a hybrid therapy for patients suffering chronic pain and disability. Consequently, Professor Linton brings clinical and scientific expertise to the conference.
As Senior Professor of Clinical Psychology and a scientific leader for the Center for Health and Medical Psychology his work ranges from teaching clinical and health psychology, to the translation and implementation of new findings, to a vibrant research agenda. He currently supervises several doctoral and master level students. He enjoys the great outdoors, self-sufficient gardening, and running!
Kieran O’Sullivan graduated as a Physiotherapist from University College Dublin in 1999. He completed an MSc in Manipulative Therapy at Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia and his PhD, on persistent low back pain, at the University of Limerick – where he has worked since 2005. In 2008 he was awarded specialist member status by the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists. In 2016, he took a 3-year career break from the University of Limerick to set up a Spinal Pain Centre of Excellence at Aspetar, Qatar. In August 2019, he returned to the University of Limerick.
His research interest is musculoskeletal pain and injury, particularly persistent spinal pain. He has published one book, six book chapters and over 140 journal articles. He has obtained over 4m euros in research funding. His research group disseminates its research through www.pain-ed.com, which is an online platform providing advice and information from both patients and clinical researchers on managing musculoskeletal pain.