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Vocational rehabilitation

Over the past few years there has been increased interest in vocational rehabilitation: helping people overcome physical or mental impairments to access, stay in, or return to suitable employment. 

Within the Rehabilitation Research Group we are exploring how people signed off work are managed, and how rehabilitation can help them return to work in the same role or in a new or modified capacity. In particular, we are looking at the increasing number of people having hip and knee replacements and how we can help them, GPs, their employers, and other healthcare practitioners to create a more effective return-to-work process. 

Our research not only has a positive impact on patients’ lives in terms of their health and wellbeing, but also on employers and the economy, as well as informing best practice for healthcare professionals. 

Recent and ongoing research includes a major project looking at ways to improve GP fit notes, supporting workers with musculoskeletal conditions, and how we can facilitate early return to work through specialist interventions. 

Research that makes an impact

Getting the best from the GP fit note

Helping to improve the process of getting people back to work.

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MENTOR: Mental health first aid in the workplace: A feasibility study

Many UK employers have funded members of their workforce to attend MHFA courses. 

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Discover more research

Find out about some of our other research projects


Meet our researchers

Dr Carol Coole 

Carol is a senior research fellow whose interests include occupational therapy, lower back pain, vocational rehabilitation, and musculoskeletal conditions. 

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PhD opportunities

Discover the latest opportunities for PhD research in the field of rehabilitation.



Rehabilitation Research Group

The University of Nottingham
School of Health Sciences
Queen's Medical Centre
Nottingham, NG7 2HA

telephone: +44 (0)115 823 0843