Dr Mary Wyatt | There's more than meets the eye when it comes to patients at risk of poor return to work results.
To better predict which ill or injured employees are likely to have more difficulty than others in returning to work, could doctors improve their assessments of patients by broadening the questions they ask? There are numerous studies predicting which workers will return to work quickly, and which will be off long term. A particularly nice one done in the Netherlands found GPs’ general sense of the situation was just as good as any questionnaires or prognostic studies they performed. more >>
Stefanie Garber | How can Return to Work professionals prevent suspicion and mistrust from derailing a claim?
Harry prided himself on being a straight-forward man. He had worked in a bakery for many years but gave it up to move to the Blue Mountains. In his new town, he found work as a handyman at a local primary school. Approximately eight months into his new position, he was trying to move a plastic bin when a gust of wind caught it. The bin slammed into his shoulder, causing bruising and a dull ache. more >>
Tom Barton | We speak to rehab provider Donna Valiant about managing everybody's needs, expectations and obligations during the RTW process.
“The thing about being a rehab provider,” says Donna Valiant, Occupational Physiotherapist and Ergonomist, “is that it’s a balancing act - in terms of meeting peoples’ expectations.” The job of a RTW Coordinator is generally no different. Return to work can often be complicated by the conflicting ideas and goals of various parties involved in the process. Donna suggests that the key to resolving these conflicts is to remember why everybody is there in the first place. more >>
Frederieke Schaafsma | A look at the factors which predict psychosocial sick leave.
Take Home Messages: It is possible to identify specific psychosocial predictors of sickness absence and this may help determine new interventions to improve the health of workers. Why the research matters: Psychosocial health complaints often occur in the working population and frequently lead to sickness absence. Understanding what causes psychosocial sick leave is the first step in determining solutions to reduce these health complaints. more >>
"Over detection, over diagnosis and over treatment of people who would be better off left alone," is driving an unnecessary increase in doctors' fees, reports Sydney Morning Herald. "Over the past decade, the use of pathology and diagnostic imaging services has soared in Australia, costing Medicare $5.25 billion in 2013, far exceeding the $4.51 billion paid for GP visits in the same year," reports SMH. Professor of evidence-based medicine at Bond University and a part-time GP, Professor Paul Glasziou says that while over diagnosis is in part fuelled by technology and pharmaceutical companies, most doctors ordering superfluous testing weren't up to scratch with current research and best practice.
ABC Health & Wellbeing have some post-holiday tips for building resilience at work. Building resilience is one way we can all reduce our stress at work and contribute to a more mentally healthy workplace, says Dr Sam Harvey, a psychiatrist with Black Dog Institute. The article offers ways workplaces can promote resilience, as well as ways individuals can improve their own resilience. Areas to address include: thinking and coping styles, lifestyle factors and support networks.
Work is traditionally associated with negative connotations, writes Sydney Morning Herald, however the reality is that work is vital for good health. "This negative view of work neglects the experiences of those who are laid off or unemployed who want to work...Unemployment and under-employment are well established as being injurious to our health," reports SMH. "Work is too often uncritically assumed to be better avoided by those suffering depression. However, there is evidence that resuming work can lead to better health outcomes."
Although nearly four in 10 workers wouldn’t tell their manager if they had a mental health problem, half said that if they knew about a coworker’s illness, they would desire to help, a new survey by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) shows. “Stigma is a barrier to people seeking help. Yet by getting treatment, it would benefit the worker and the workplace, and minimise productivity loss,” say researchers. “A significant number of working people have mental health problems, or have taken a disability leave related to mental health,” says Dr. Dewa, head of CAMH’s Centre for Research on Employment and Workplace Health (CREWH). Annually, almost three per cent of workers are on a short-term disability leave related to mental illness.
A multi-institution team of sleep researchers recently found that workers who participated in an intervention aimed at reducing conflict between work and familial responsibilities slept an hour more each week and reported greater sleep sufficiency than those who did not participate in the intervention. Their study is published in Sleep Health, Journal of the National Sleep Foundation. "Increasing family-supportive supervision and employee control over work time benefited the sleep of hundreds of employees, and even greater effects may be possible if sleep is overtly addressed in workplace interventions."
A psychosocially poor work environment means that employees experience highly demanding requirements but have little ability to control their work or not feel sufficiently appreciated for the contributions they make. A dissertation at The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, shows that men who have recently suffered a heart attack or angina and who feel that they have a poor psychosocial work environment see a relationship between their heart disease and their work situation.