Skip to main content Accessibility help

Examining the Role of Rehabilitation in the South Australian Workers' Compensation System

  • D. Christine Roberts-Yates (a1)


This paper will analyse the provision of rehabilitation to injured workers with a registered WorkCover claim in South Australia. It presents the comments of key parties on the practice of rehabilitation, approaches to service delivery, and contradictions and paradoxes of the reality of the practice. The comments of workers, employers, case managers, medical practitioners, and of the rehabilitation providers themselves give ample evidence of the complexity of the demands placed upon providers in this system. Emphasis is placed upon their role in presenting the realities of the situation honestly to the worker and in effectively communicating to other stakeholders the particular strategies needed to overcome barriers to successful return-to-work outcomes.


Corresponding author

4/26 Rohsart Street, Parkside, Adelaide, South Australia 5063, Australia E-mail:


Hide All
Abbott, P., & Meerabeau, L. (1998). Professionals, professionalisation and the caring professions. In Abbott, P. & Meerabeau, L. (Eds.), The sociology of the caring professions, (pp. 119). London: UCL Press.
Akabas, S., Gates, L., & Galvin, D. (1992). Disability management: A complete system to reduce costs, increase productivity and ensure legal compliance. New York: Amacon.
Anderson, J.M., (1996). Empowering patients, issues and strategies. Social Science and Medicine, 43(5): 697705.
Antonovsky, A. (1987). Unravelling the mystery of health: How people manage stress and stay well. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Argyle, M. (1991). Co-operation: The basis of sociability. London: Routledge.
Ashkanasy, N.M., & Tse, B. (2000). Transformational leadership as management of emotion: A conceptual review. In Ashkanasy, N.M., Hartel, C.E.J., & Zerbe, W.J. (Eds.), Emotions in the workplace. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.
Austin, M.J. (1997). Human services integration. New York: Haworth Press.
Australian Society of Rehabilitation Counsellors (ASORC). (1995). Core competencies for the profession of rehabilitation counselling. Brisbane, Australia: Author.
Bale, A. (1989). Medicine in the industrial battle: Early workers' compensation. Social Science Medicine, 28, 1131120.
Barnes, C.A. (2000). A working society model? Disability, work and disability: Politics in the twenty-first century. Critical Social Policy, 20(4): 113120.
Bemrose, C., MacKeith, J. (1996). Partnerships for progress: Good practice in the relationship between local government and voluntary organisations. Bristol, UK: The Policy Press.
Biggs, H.C., & Flett, R.A. (1995). Rehabilitation counsellor competency studies: A review of praxis in a human service profession. Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counselling, 1, 113.
Billett, S. (1999). Guided learning at work. In Boud, D. & Garrick, J. (Eds.). Understanding learning at work. London: Routledge.
Blackman, I. (2003). The perceived complexity of vocational workplace rehabilitation and its implications for supervisor development. International Education Journal, 4(1), 117.
Bloch, F.S., & Prins, R. (2001). Who returns to work and why? A six country study on work incapacity and reintegration. London: Transaction.
Bruhn, J.G., Levine, H.G., & Levine, P.L. (1993). Managing boundaries in the health professions. Springfield, USA: Charles C. Thomas.
BSRM. (2000). Vocational rehabilitation — the way forward: A working party report. London: Author.
Burry, H.C. (1990). Accident compensation: Gates and gatekeepers. Medical Journal of Australia, 152, 450451.
Buys, N., & Kendall, E. (1998). Stress and burnout among rehabilitation counsellors within the context of insurance based rehabilitation: An institutional analysis. Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counselling, 4, 112.
Calzoni, T.(1997). The client perspective: The missing link in work injury and rehabilitation studies. Journal of Occupational Health and Safety of Australia and New Zealand, 13(1), 4757.
Cameron, S.J. (1996). Workers' compensation: What role the doctor? Medical Journal of Australia, 164, 2627.
Carey, T.S., & Hadler, N.M. (1986). The role of the primary physician in disability determination for social security insurance and workers' compensation. Ann Intern Med, 104, 706710.
Castellani, B., & Wear, D. (2000). Physician views on practising professionalism in the corporate age. Qualitative Health Research, 10(4), 490506.
Casto, R.M., Julia, M.C., et al. (1994). Interprofessional care and collaborative practice. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Chan, E., Reid, D., Kasel, L., Roldan, G., Rahmi, M., Mpfou, E. (1997). Vocational assessment and evaluation of people with disabilities. Vocational Rehabilitation, 8(2), 311325.
Cohen, M., Nicholas, M., & Blanch, A. (2000). Medical assessment and management of work-related low back pain or neck/arm pain. Journal of Occupational Health and Safety, Australia/New Zealand, 16(4), 307317.
Collinson, C., Flett, R., Handy, J., Brook, J., & Alpass, F. (2000). Job satisfaction in rehabilitation case managers: The role of organisational commitment and climate, occupational self-efficacy and perceived competencies. Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counselling, 6, 6777.
Conti, R.M. (1999). The broker model of case management. In Cohen, E.L. & deBack, V. (Eds.), The outcomes mandate: Case management in health care today, (pp. 122-31). St Louis, MO: Mosby.
Corrigan, P., Lickey, S., Campion, J., & Rashid, F. (2000). A short course in leadership skills for the rehabilitation team. Journal of Rehabilitation, 66(2), 5658.
Crisp, R. (1987). Rehabilitation counselling: A profile. Australian Disability Review, 3, 2830.
Crisp, R. (2000). A qualitative study of the perceptions of individuals with disabilities concerning health and rehabilitation professionals. Disability and Society, 15(2), 355367.
Ekberg, K. (1995). Workplace changes in successful rehabilitation. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 5(4), 253269.
Epstein, S. (1998). Constructive thinking: The key to emotional intelligence. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Feuerstein, M. (1991). A multidisciplinary approach to the prevention, evaluation and management of work disability. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 1, 512.
Field, D., & Taylor, S.E. (Eds.). (1998). Sociological perspectives on health, illness and health care. London: MPG Books.
Field, L. (1998). The challenge of ‘empowered learning’. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 36(1), 7285.
Ford, L.H. (1995). Providing employment support for people with long term mental illness: Choices, resources and practical strategies. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.
Gardner, J.A., (1991). Early referral and other factors affecting vocational rehabilitation outcome for the workers' compensation client. Rehabilitation Counselling Bulletin, 34(3), 197209.
Garske, G. (1999). The challenge of rehabilitation counsellors: Working with people with psychiatric disabilities. Journal of Rehabilitation, 2125.
Ganora, A., & Wright, G. (1987). Occupational rehabilitation: Costs and benefits. The Journal of Occupational Health and Safety, Australia/New Zealand, 3(4), 331351.
Ganster, D.C., Fusilier, M.R., & Mayes, B.T. (1986). Role of social support in the experience of stress at work. Journal of Applied Psychology, 71, 102110.
Gerber, R. (2000). Experience, commonsense and expertise in workplace learning. In Gerber, R. & Lankshear, C. (Eds.). Training for a smart workforce. London: Routledge.
Hassett, S., & Austin, M.J. (1997). Service integration: Something old and something new. In Austin, M.J. (Ed.), Human Services Integration, (pp. 929). New York: Haworth Press.
Heenan, D. (2003). Does delivery matter? Users' perceptions of the significance of trust in the delivery of the personal advisor service in the new deal for disabled persons. Disability and Rehabilitation, 25(16), 883890.
Holt, B.J. (2000). The practice of generalist case management. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment and Workplace Relations (06, 2003). Bock on the job: Report into aspects of Australian workers' compensation schemes. Canberra, Australia: Commonwealth of Australia.
Imershein, A.W., Hill, A.S., & Reynolds, A.M. (1994). The workers' compensation system as a quality of life problem for workers' compensation claimants. Advances in Medical Sociology, 5, 1812000.
Kanateros, K. (2000). Engaging reluctant clients: A study of rehabilitation counsellors. The Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counselling, 6, 2032.
Kelly, C.R., & Amparo, J.M. (2000). A review of workers' compensation claims: The frequency of claim denial and medical treatment delay. Hawaii Medical Journal, 59, 1113.
Kenny, D. (1995). Barriers to occupational rehabilitation: An exploratory study of long-term injured employees. Journal of Occupational Health and Safety of Australia and New Zealand, 11(3), 249256.
Kenny, D.T. (1996). Factors influencing return to work following workplace injury. International Journal of Psychology, 31(3), 34.
Kenny, D.T. (1998a). The role of the rehabilitation provider in occupational rehabilitation: Providing for whom? Part 1: Self-perceptions. The Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counselling, 4, 97110.
Kenny, D.T. (1998b). The role of the rehabilitation provider in occupational rehabilitation: Providing for whom? Part 2: Perceptions of key stakeholders. Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counselling, 4, 111122.
Kenny, D.T. (1998c). Returning to work after workplace injury: Impact of worker and workplace factors. Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counselling, 29(1), 1319.
Kirschenbaum, A. (1999). The organisation of vocational rehabilitation: The structure of success. International Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation Research, 22, 215225.
Klein, J.I. (2000). Corporate failure by design: Why organisations are built to fall. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.
Kyle, K. (1998). From fragmentation to coordination: Person centred rehabilitation within an adversarial system. Rehab Network, 50, 35.
Labonte, R. (1994). Health promotion and empowerment: Reflections on professional practice. Health Education Quarterly, 21 (2), 253268.
Lesher, C.(1987). Rehabilitation practice in business and industry. Rehabilitation Education, 1, 119121.
Levine, K., Schieber, A., Benjamin, J., Halmosh, A.F. (1988). Emotional problems of the disabled worker who cannot return to his former occupation. The Journal of Occupational Health and Safety, Australia and New Zealand, 4(4), 313318.
Lu, L. (1997). Social support, reciprocity and wellbeing. Journal of Social Psychology, 137(5), 618628.
McAnaney, D., Webster, B., Lohan, M., & Wynne, R. (2001). Disability management: A system of response or a response to a system? Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counselling, 7(1), 239249.
McAnaney, D.F. (2000). From fragmentation to co-ordination: Cost effective rehabilitation. Journalof Personal Injury Litigation, 2, 118127.
MacKenzie, E.L., Morris, J.A. Jr., Jurkovich, G.L., Yasui, Y., Cushing, B.M., Burgess, , et al. (1998). Return to work following injury: The role of economic, social and job related factors. American Journal of Public Health, 88(11), 16301637.
Matthews, L.R. & Hawkins, T. (1995). Long-term unemployment and rehabilitation counselling: Problems faced and competencies required. The Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counselling, 1, 118129.
Medin, J., Bendtsen, P., & Ekberg, K. (2003). Health promotion and rehabilitation: A case study. Disability and Rehabilitation, 25(16), 908915.
Mehr, J. (1995). Human services: Concepts and intervention strategies. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Mitchel, A.J. (1997). Keeping the plate spinning: A qualitative study of job satisfaction and occupational stress experienced by South Australian rehabilitation counsellors. Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counselling, 3, 8689.
Pati, G.C. (1985). Economics of rehabilitation in the workplace. Journal of Rehabilitation, 51(4), 2230.
Power, P.W., & McKenna, M. (1994). Rehabilitation counselling: A perspective on an inter-disciplinary approach to vocational evaluation and assessment. Vocational Evaluation and Work Adjustment Bulletin, Winter, 128132.
Roberts-Yates, D.C. (2002a). Claims/injury management and rehabilitation for injured workers: Initial results of a partnership approach. Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counselling, 8(1), 3950.
Roberts-Yates, D.C. (2002b). The dilemma of the case manager in workers' compensation: Decisionmaker, system player, paralegal/medical specialist, mediator or enemy? Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counselling, 8(2), 99113.
Roberts-Yates, D.C. (2003). The concerns and issues of injured workers in relation to claims/injury management and rehabilitation: The need for new operational frameworks. Disability and Rehabilitation, 25(16), 898916.
Roberts-Yates, D.C. (2004a). Perceptions of the employer as a major stakeholder in claims injury management and rehabilitation, Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, (in press).
Roberts-Yates, D.C. (2004b). Examining the role of treating medical practitioners practising in the South Australian workers' compensation system. Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counselling 9(2) (in press).
Roessler, R.T. & Rubin, S.E. (1998). Case management and rehabilitation counselling: Procedures and techniques. Austin, TX: Pro-ed.
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), West Australian Research Unit. (2000). Stress, compensation and the general practitioner. Perth, Australia: Western Australia Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Commission.
Royal Australian College of Practitioners (RACP), Health Policy Unit. (2001). Compensable injuries and health outcomes. Sydney, Australia: Australian Faculty of Occupational Medicine.
Saunders, C. (2002). Compo too stressful. Medical Journal of Australia, 36, 61.
Scheff, T.J. (1995). Shame and related emotions: An overview. American Behavioural Scientist, 38(8), 697705.
Schon, D. (1983). The reflective practitioner. New York: Basic Books.
Strunin, L., & Bodin, L. (1997, 10). The human costs of occupational injuries. Paper presented at the national occupational injury research symposium, Morgantown, WV.
Tate, D.G. (1992). Factors influencing injured employees return to work. Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counselling, 23(2), 1720.
Trotter, C. (1999). Working with involuntary clients: A guide to practice. Sydney, Australia: Allen & Unwin.
van der Sluis, C.K., Eisma, W.H., Groothoff, J.W., & ten Duis, H.J. (1998). Long term physical, psychological and social consequences of severe injuries. Injury, 29(4), 281285.
Veerman, T.J., & Palmer, E. (2001). Work resumption and the role of interventions. In Bloch, F.S. & Prins, R., (Eds.), Who returns to work and why? London: Transaction.
Veiel, H., & Baumann, U. (1992). The many meanings of social support. In Veirl, H. & Baumann, U. (Eds.), The meaning and measurement of social support. New York: Hemisphere.
Walker, T.M. (1999). Continuity and change in Australian vocational rehabilitation in the new millennium. Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counselling, 5, 115125.
Walker, M.L., & Wiegmann, S.M. (1995). The future of rehabilitation counselling: Can we adapt to change? Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counselling, 1, 1322.
Weis, E.S., Anderson, R.M., & Lasker, R.D. (2002). Making the most of collaboration: Exploring the relationship between partnership synergy and partnership functioning, Health Education and Behaviour, 29(6), 2739.
Westmorland, M.G., & Williams, R. (2002). Employers and policy makers can make a difference to the employment of persons with disabilities. Disability and Rehabilitation, 24(15), 802809.
Wood, G., Ying, E., Morrison, D., & Munrowd, , ?. (1999). The role of the GPs in the workers' compensation system. Journal of Occupational Health and Safety, Australia/New Zealand, 15(4), 311324.
WorkCover Corporation. (1998). Rehabilitation and return to work manual and guidelines (4th ed.). Adelaide, Australia: Author.
WorkCover Corporation. (2002). A guide to an earlier and safer return to work. Adelaide, Australia: Author.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Examining the Role of Rehabilitation in the South Australian Workers' Compensation System

  • D. Christine Roberts-Yates (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.