Professional supervision in the work rehabilitation arena in one Australian State

Niamh Boland, Jenny Strong*, Libby Gibson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This study examined the methods and frequency of professional supervision in Queensland's work rehabilitation sector. Professional supervision is regarded as an important aspect of professional development and hence, critical to the improvement of services delivered by practitioners. However, there is little documented on the extent of supervision of practitioners in this setting and even less on the impact and effectiveness of supervision. Participants: Eighty-two (82) work rehabilitation professionals participated in the study. Methods: The majority of participants (76) responded to a web-based survey that had been sent to them by a web-link, and 6 completed a paper based survey version of the survey, which evaluated the extent, practice methods, and barriers to the delivery and receipt of supervision. A follow-up focus group was held with key opinion holders to examine possible barriers to supervision in the industry. Results: 59% of the participants had not received any form of supervision in the past two years. Those who received or delivered supervision reported it to be a valuable practice. The follow-up focus group identified barriers to supervision as being pressures of commercial targets, lack of exposure to work rehabilitation in university curricula, high staff turn-over, relative inexperience of case managers and purchasers dictating product outcomes. Conclusions: The development of industry standards for supervision practice is recommended to overcome the barriers to supervision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-165
Number of pages11
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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