Publications and resources

Below are some of our key publications that have demonstrably influenced policy or opinion in Australia and around the world. For a full list of publications for the Healthy Working Lives Research Group, visit the Monash University Research Portal profiles for Prof Alex Collie and A/Prof Ross Iles.


The health impacts of a 4-month long community-wide COVID-19 lockdown: Findings from a prospective longitudinal study in the state of Victoria, Australia.
PLoS One. 2022 Apr 7;17(4):e0266650. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0266650. eCollection 2022.
Daniel Griffiths, Luke Sheehan, Dennis Petrie, Caryn van Vreden, Peter Whiteford, Alex Collie.

A study to determine health impacts during, and following, an extended community lockdown and COVID-19 outbreak in the Australian state of Victoria, compared with the rest of Australia.

Changes in work and health of Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic: a longitudinal cohort study.
BMC Public Health. 2022 Mar 12;22(1):487. doi: 10.1186/s12889-022-12897-4.
Daniel Griffiths, Luke Sheehan, Caryn van Vreden, Dennis Petrie, Peter Whiteford, Malcolm R Sim, Alex Collie.

A study on work and health during the COVID-19 pandemic and changes in mental and physical health following experiences of work loss and return to work.

The physical and mental health of Australian truck drivers: a national cross-sectional study.
BMC Public Health. 2022 Mar 8;22(1):464. doi: 10.1186/s12889-022-12850-5.
Caryn van Vreden, Ting Xia, Alex Collie, Elizabeth Pritchard, Sharon Newnam, Dan I Lubman, Abilio de Almeida Neto, Ross Iles.

The aims of this study were to characterise the physical and mental health of Australian truck drivers overall, and to identify any differences in factors influencing the health profile of long-haul compared to short-haul drivers.


Returning to the workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic: The concerns of Australian workers.
Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. 2021 Dec;31(4):711-720. doi: 10.1007/s10926-021-09990-7.
Daniel Griffiths, Luke Sheehan, Caryn van Vreden, Peter Whiteford, Alex Collie.

Publication from our landmark COVID-19 Work and Health study that identifies the concerns Australian workers hold regarding workplace reopening after periods of lockdown.

Timing of Health Service Use Among Truck Drivers After a Work-Related Injury or Illness.
Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. 2021 Dec;31(4):744-753. doi: 10.1007/s10926-021-10001-y.
Ting Xia, Alex Collie, Sharon Newnam, Dan Lubman, Ross Iles.

A publication from the Driving Health study that describes when truck drivers access health services, including services for mental health.

Changes in Access to Australian Disability Support Benefits During a Period of Social Welfare Reform.
Journal of Social Policy. 2021, 1-23. doi: 10.1017/S0047279420000732
Alex Collie, Luke Sheehan, Tyler Lane.

This study describes how reforms to the Disability Support Pension eligibility and administrative processes led to a significant reduction in DSP grants and differentially affected people based on the nature of their medical condition or disability.

Prevalence, predictors and wage replacement duration associated with diagnostic imaging in Australian workers with accepted claims for low back pain: a retrospective cohort study.
Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. 2021 Apr 28. doi: 10.1007/s10926-021-09981-8.
Michael Di Donato, Ross Iles, Rachelle Buchbinder, Ting Xia, Alex Collie.

This study identified the prevalence of diagnostic spinal imaging for compensated Australian workers with low back pain and its association with wage replacement duration.


Development and Pilot Assessment of the PACE Tool: Helping Case Managers Identify and Respond to Risk Factors in Workers’ Compensation Case Management.
Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. 2020 Jun;30(2):167-182. doi: 10.1007/s10926-019-09858-x.
Ross Iles, Luke Sheehan, Karen Munk, Cameron Gosling.

A comprehensive description of a tool to identify injured workers at risk of delayed return to work, including the results of applying the tool with more than 500 injured workers.

Impact of legislative reform on benefit access and disability duration in workers’ compensation: an interrupted time series study.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2020 Jan;77(1):32-39. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2019-106063.
Alex Collie, Dianne Beck, Shannon Elise Gray, Tyler Jeremiah Lane

Population based evaluation of a workers’ compensation policy change using sophisticated quasi-experimental analysis.

Psychological distress in workers’ compensation claimants: prevalence, predictors and mental health service use.
Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. 2020 Jun;30(2):194-202. doi: 10.1007/s10926-019-09862-1.
Alex Collie, Luke Sheehan, Tyler Lane, Ross Iles.

Describes a high prevalence of psychological distress among workers with musculoskeletal disorder claims, and that most such workers in distress do not receive specialist mental health care.

The impact of income support systems on healthcare quality and functional capacity in workers with low back pain: a realist review.
Pain. 2020 Dec;161(12):2690-2709. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001978.
Michael Di Donato, Ross Iles, Tyler Lane, Rachelle Buchbinder, Alex Collie.

This realist review revealed the impact of intersecting healthcare and social systems on healthcare quality and functional capacity in workers suffering low back pain.

The Impact of Income Sources on Financial Stress in Workers’ Compensation Claimants.
Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. 2020 Dec;30(4):679-688. doi: 10.1007/s10926-020-09883-1.
Luke Sheehan, Tyler Lane, Alex Collie.

Using data from the National Return to Work Survey, this study shows that injured workers receiving workers’ compensation report greater financial stress than those back at work or those who were receiving the aged pension or superannuation.


Individual recovery expectations and prognosis of outcomes in non-specific low back pain: prognostic factor review.
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2019 Nov 25;2019(11):CD011284. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD011284.pub2.
Jill Hayden, Maria Wilson, Richard Riley, Ross Iles, Tamar Pincus, Rachel Ogilvie.

This is a comprehensive review of the ability of recovery expectations to predict outcomes for people with low back pain, spanning 60 studies and more than 30,000 people with back pain.

Factors Associated with Employer Support for Injured Workers during a Workers’ Compensation Claim.
Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. 2019 Dec;29(4):718-727. doi: 10.1007/s10926-019-09834-5.
Luke Sheehan, Tyler Lane, Shannon Gray, Alex Collie.

This study identified characteristics of injured workers who are more or less likely to feel supported by their employers and receive support in the form of a return to work plan.

Work disability in Australia: an overview of prevalence, expenditure, support systems and services.
J Occup Rehab. 2019 Sep;29(3):526-539. doi: 10.1007/s10926-018-9816-4..
Alex Collie, Michael Di Donato, Ross Iles.

Landmark study that describes prevalence of work disability across Australia’s “system of systems” including workers compensation, social security, life insurance, sickness absence.

Patterns and predictors of return to work after major trauma: a prospective, population-based registry study.
Annals of Surgery. 2019 May;269(5):972-978. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000002666.
Alex Collie, Pamela M Simpson, Peter A Cameron, Shanthi Ameratunga, Jennie Ponsford, Ronan A Lyons, Sandra Braaf, Andrew Nunn, James E Harrison, Belinda J Gabbe.

Identifies distinct patterns of return to work after major trauma, from analysis of population based longitudinal trauma registry data.

Evaluating the success of legislative amendments designed to reduce work disability.
Policy Design and Practice. 2019; 3: 291-304, doi: 10.1080/25741292.2019.1610147.
Shannon Gray, Tyler Lane, Behrooz Hassani-Mahmooei, Alex Collie.

Examined the effect of a major change to a workers’ compensation system, finding minimal evidence for intended effects and likely unintended consequences due to antagonistic components in the legislation.

We value media engagement as an important way to share our knowledge and findings directly with the community. The Healthy Working Lives Research Group is happy to provide expert comment to journalists and can be contacted via

Here are some of the highlights of our recent media activity:

The Australian

Resilient Victorians recovered from lockdown within months

7 April 2022


Tips to Cope with a Layoff – Dr Daniel Griffiths discusses his COVID study

3 April 2022

3AW Breakfast

The shocking state of Aussie truck drivers' health – Ross Iles discusses the Driving Health study findings

23 March 2022

The Australian

Truckies carrying too big a load

23 March 2022

The Conversation

Worksafe’s hotel quarantine breach penalties are a warning for other employers to keep workers safe from COVID

30 September 2021

The Sydney Morning Herald

Mental health is becoming our biggest lockdown concern

20 July 2021

The Age

Jerry drove trucks for 60 years, now it’s catching up with him

4 February 2021


Serious physical health crisis facing Australian truck drivers

4 February 2021

ABC News

Landmark research reveals 'horrific' mental health crisis facing Australian truck drivers

22 November 2020

The Australian

Top researchers recognised in The Australian's 2020 Research Magazine

23 September 2020

The Conversation

Counting the costs of illness and injury on Australian workers

1 May 2018

More media about the Driving Health study can be found here.

Our latest reports and publications are below.

For more information, please contact us at

2022 Healthy Working Lives Seminar Series (Prevention)

2022 Healthy Working Lives Seminar Series (Recovery)

2022 Healthy Working Lives Seminar Series (Systems)

Our research