Insurance Work and Health Group

In July 2020 we focused on MARC members from Insurance Work and Health Group.

The Insurance Work and Health Group (IWHG) is based in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. IWHG offers a unique multidisciplinary approach to improving workers’ health and the sustainability of the systems that insure them. Their expert team brings together world-leading capabilities in research, data and advisory services to achieve real solutions to complex problems.

They design and conduct research with real-world impact. Their deep technical expertise and industry experience means they are well-positioned to translate research into expert advice for industry, government and the wider community. The integration of research, data and advisory capability makes them a unique partner to better understand and address sector challenges. Together we can develop meaningful solutions to keep workers at work, improve health, and ensure the sustainability of systems that support people with work disability.


 

Professor Alex Collie is Director of the Insurance Work and Health Research Group in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow. Alex is an applied public health and social policy researcher, with a specific focus on work disability benefit and compensation systems and their impact on the work, social and health outcomes of injured and ill people.

He leads a program of research that seeks to (1) describe health and work outcomes of people receiving support from Australia’s workers’ compensation, social security, life insurance and road traffic crash compensation systems; (2) identify factors affecting the health and work function of people involved these systems; and (3) modify those factors to improve outcomes for injured and ill people and reduce the burden of work disability in the community.

Alex currently leads multiple large projects funded by industry, government and competitive research grants. Alex has advised multiple state and commonwealth government departments and private sector organisations in matters relating to workplace health, insurance and injury compensation. He has held numerous board positions on non-profit health sector organisations.

Prof Alex Collie currently collaborates with MARC members on the following projects:

Health service use and return to work among compensated coal miners

MARC Co-investigators: Dr Ting Xia (IWHG)

COMPARE Study - Safe Work Australia support

MARC Co-investigators: Dr Ross Iles (IWHG)

Injury and illness in older workers in the healthcare sector

MARC Co-investigators: Dr Ross Iles (IWHG)

The Impact of Policy, Demography and Geography on Work Disability

MARC Co-investigators: Dr Ross Iles (IWHG)

Transport and Logistics Industry Health and Wellbeing Research Study

MARC Co-investigators: Prof Dan Lubman (Turning Point) & A/Prof Sharon Newnam (MUARC).


 

Dr Ross Iles is a Senior Research Fellow at the Insurance Work and Health Group. His research interests include predictors of poor outcome in low back pain and other musculoskeletal conditions. In particular the role of recovery expectations as not only a screening tool for a range of conditions but also the influence of expectations in return to usual activity levels. Further interests include the application of motivational interviewing and health coaching principles in health consultations to improve outcomes across a range of conditions.

Dr Ross Iles currently collaborates with MARC members on the following projects:

COMPARE Study - Safe Work Australia support

MARC Co-investigators: Prof Alex Collie (IWHG)

Injury and illness in older workers in the healthcare sector

MARC Co-investigators: Prof Alex Collie (IWHG)

The Impact of Policy, Demography and Geography on Work Disability

MARC Co-investigators: Prof Alex Collie (IWHG)


 

Dr Ting Xia is an early career researcher in the field of public health and occupational health. She is currently employed as a Research Fellow in the Insurance Work and Health Group, at the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University. Prior to completing her PhD, she worked as a public health physician at the Nanjing Centre of Disease Control and Prevention in China. Her research interests are in work-related injury and illness and quality of health care. She has extensive experience in a wide range of statistical analysis and survey design.

Dr Xia received a MARC 2019 IRSFS Postgraduate seed funding grant for her project ‘Opioid prescriptions among Victorian workers’ compensation claimants: prescription patterns and risk factors associated with longer-term opioid prescribing’. The study will be the first to examine opioid prescription patterns and risk factors for longer-term opioid prescribing across Victoria. Using detailed medicines payment data from the workers’ compensation scheme to describe the prevalence, intensity, timing and duration of opioid prescriptions among injured workers, to determine whether this varies between different health providers and geographic areas, and to examine the relationship with opioid use and injury outcomes. Importantly, these data will provide valuable insight into whether an evidence-based opioid treatment has been applied to workers with accepted workers’ compensation claims, thereby informing future injury treatment funding policy.

Dr Ting Xia currently collaborates with MARC members on the following projects:

Health service use and return to work among compensated coal miners

MARC Co-investigators: Prof Alex Collie (IWHG)