Exploring the influence of compensable injury on recovery

Amy R. Allen, Sharon Newnam, Alan Petersen, Adam P. Vogel, Alex Collie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Compensable injury is a public health concern and understanding of the factors influencing recovery is crucial to improving physical and psychological outcomes for injured individuals. OBJECTIVE: Based on the bio-psychosocial model of disability (Engel, 1980), the aim of this study is to explore the experiences of injured people in compensation systems, focusing on factors that impact their health and mental well-being. METHOD: Telephone interviews were conducted with 15 compensated injured individuals who had time off work, to explore their experiences post injury. RESULTS: The key outcomes experienced post injury included fear, physical disuse, depression and disability. The results are discussed within the fear-avoidance model of pain (Lethem, Slade, Troupe, & Bentley, 1983) and in relation to a readjustment of sense of self. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of participants were struggling to move beyond their injury and particular road blocks were impeding progression of their recovery. The results of this study offer recommendations for the way compensation systems interact with injured persons and psychological and/or social interventions to help recovery from injury and return to work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-325
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Compensable injury
  • fear-avoidance model
  • pain
  • sense of self

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