IMPRovE: Implementing work-related Mental health guidelines in general PRacticE

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

This proposal seeks to improve health and return to work outcomes for injured workers with work-related mental health conditions by improving the care provided by their general practitioner (GP). Workers with MHCs take three times longer to return to work and receive approximately three times more in compensation, compared to workers with musculoskeletal injuries. In Australia, GPs see 96% of injured workers and thus play a pivotal role in directing the recovery and return to work journey for these patients. However, current practice is hampered by clinical uncertainties and system difficulties that GPs encounter in practice.
A national evidence-based clinical guideline on diagnosing and managing work-related MHCs in general practice is currently in development anticipating NHMRC approval, RACGP endorsement, and publication in early 2019. However, unless the guideline is actively implemented, it risks being underutilised.
Our study aims to improve the health outcomes of people with work-related MHCs by implementing an intervention designed to increase the delivery of evidence-based care by Australian GPs. We will utilise a pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial design with a stepped-wedge approach to trial a complex intervention in general practice. Intervention components will consist of proven methods such as academic detailing, resource provision, and support through a community of practice. Our key objectives are to increase the delivery of evidence-based care for patients with work-related MHCs in general practice and to assess the cost-effectiveness of our intervention. The partnership team has unparalleled expertise with the proposed methods and is uniquely placed to conduct a high quality, pragmatic implementation trial that will be applicable across compensation jurisdictions in Australia
Effective start/end date1/04/1931/03/24


  • National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) (Australia): A$872,196.42