Gabrielle Lis | Part One - What are the barriers to good doctor / employer relationships?
The relationship between the employer and the primary care practitioner can sometimes seem peripheral to return to work. However, a recent RTWMatters poll showed that approximately 75% of return to work professionals find doctors "hard work". To makes matters worse, evidence-based research suggest that, when poorly managed, the doctor / employer relationship can become a stumbling block tripping up even those stakeholders with the best of intentions. more >>
Cheryl Griffiths | This webinar explores how RTW Coordinators and Claims Managers can communicate effectively with treating practitioners to establish a cooperative relationship.
Building a great relationship with the treating practitioner can help an injured or ill employee get back to work and on the road to recovery sooner. Getting your communication style right and understanding that the focus should be on giving, rather than receiving information, is fundamental to building this relationship. This webinar explores how RTW Coordinators and Claims Managers can communicate effectively with treating practitioners to establish a cooperative relationship. more >>
SuperDoc | Assisting difficult RTW is even harder when the treating practitioner doesn't have all the facts.
Even when you’re a SuperDoc, there’s nothing easy about managing return to work. In fact, not only can it feel a bit like dancing in the dark, you also have to deal with the uncertainty of not knowing who your partner is. The patient? The employer? The insurer? You might know who you’d prefer to sidle up to on the dancefloor, but too much empathy with the patient and too little information about their circumstances can result in serious RTW stumbles. more >>
Dr Mary Wyatt | A review of self medication in physicians and medical students
In the context of work and health, we look at how doctors behave in advising and certifying patients. This study explores how doctors and medical students manage their own health conditions. In turn, the authors of this paper indicate that the manner in which they treat themselves can be considered an occupational hazard for the medical profession. The researchers sought to summarise the literature available regarding doctors’ self treatment and self medication. more >>
A rise in claims against death, disability and income protection policies are causing insurers to increase premiums sold through superannuation funds, Business Spectator reports. The increase in life insurance premiums is set to take place over the coming six years, according to The Australian Financial Review. The growth of claims indicates the difficulty many organisations are having with return to work. According to actuarial firm Rice Warner, insurance costs will double to two per cent of salary. This will route a greater proportion of super contributions to life insurance, as opposed to retirement funds.
People who exercise regularly are better at creative thinking. This is the outcome of research by Leiden cognitive psychologist Lorenza Colato. She published an article on this subject in the scientific magazine Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Colzato investigated whether regular exercise may promote the two main ingredients of creativity: divergent thinking and convergent thinking. Divergent thinking means to think up as many solutions as possible for a certain problem. Convergent thinking leads to one single correct solution for a given problem. "We think that physical movement is good for the ability to think flexibly, but only if the body is used to being active. Otherwise a large part of the energy intended for creative thinking goes to the movement itself." Colzato believes that these results support the famous classical idea of a sound mind in a healthy body: ‘Exercising on a regular basis may thus act as a cognitive enhancer promoting creativity in inexpensive and healthy ways."
People with health insurance are more likely to use preventive services such as flu shots and health screenings to reduce their risk of serious illness, but they are no more likely than people without health insurance to engage in risky health behaviours such as smoking or gaining weight, researchers at UC Davis and University of Rochester have found. The findings, published in the November-December issue of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, contradict the common concern that expanding health-care coverage may encourage behaviours that increase utilisation and costs. “The notion that people with insurance will exhibit riskier behaviour is referred to by economists as ‘ex ante moral hazard’ and has its roots in the early days of the property insurance industry,” said Anthony Jerant, professor of family and community medicine at UC Davis and lead author of the study. “After buying fire insurance, some people wouldn’t manage fire hazards on their property. But health care is different. Someone might not care if their insured warehouse burns down, but most people want desperately to avoid illness.”
Social activity and health correlate in old age, but less is known about what explains this association. The results of a study carried out in the Gerontology Research Center showed that part of the association between social activity and mortality was mediated by mobility among older men and women. Of other potential mediators, having less depressive symptoms and better cognitive functioning are merely prerequisites for social activity. Helping others in various daily tasks is an example of productive social activity which may give feelings of doing good and being useful. Good cognitive functioning and having less depressive symptoms seemed to be prerequisites for social activity. Thus, it is important to recognise and take into account those older people who have memory problems and are melancholy, and may need extra support to participate in social activities.
Mental and physical illnesses necessarily impact upon the lives of the relatives of those afflicted by them, all the more so in families where a member has a mental illness, because they suffer more discrimination. The results are based on a study carried out in 28 countries. The article published in ‘Psychological Medicine’ estimates the degree to which a family member might feel embarrassed when a close relative is suffering from an alcohol, drug or mental health condition versus a general medical health condition. The results show that both mental and physical conditions are an onus on family members. “However, what is most notable is that relatives of patients with mental health illnesses feel greater stigma than those with physical conditions."
People who suffer with chronic musculoskeletal pain face a daily struggle with their sense of self and find it difficult to prove the legitimacy of their condition. A new study published today in the Health Services and Delivery Research journal, highlighted: Patients struggling with the fundamental relationship with their body, and a sense that it is no longer ‘the real me’; A loss of certainty for the future, and being constantly aware of the restrictions of their body; Feeling lost in the health care system; feeling as though there is no answer to their pain; Finding it impossible to ‘prove’ their pain; “if I appear ‘too sick’ or ‘not sick enough’ then no one will believe me” The study also identified a number of ways in which patients can move forward with their lives. The key for some people appears to be building a new relationship with the body and redefining what is ‘normal’, rather than trying to maintain the lifestyle before the pain. Developing an understanding of what the body is capable of and becoming confident to make choices can aid the process of living with musculoskeletal pain.