Stefanie Garber | Goal setting is a vital tool in the return to work process, but using it effectively can pose a challenge.
All conscious human behaviour is in pursuit of some goal, according to goal setting theorists Locke and Latham. They believe that goals can be help a person by: directing their attention and effort towards a specific outcome enhancing their persistence giving them energy and motivation helping them develop new strategies. In a rehabilitation context, goal setting involves the client and their rehabilitation providers devising a set of desired outcomes that the client intends to work towards achieving. more >>
Stefanie Garber | Outsourcing of case management of workers compensation in South Australia has failed to live up to its hype
Nineteen years ago, South Australia introduced outsourcing of case management for workers compensation claims. A recent paper by Robin Shaw questions whether this model has achieved its aims, suggesting it has failed to save money or improve service delivery. In the South Australian system, like in Victoria and New South Wales, workers compensation is publicly funded but privately administered. more >>
Dr Mary Wyatt | Interview with Garry Pearce, Director of Rehabilitation for the Tasmanian Department of Health.
Dr Garry Pearce is a rehabilitation physician. He's the past president of the Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine and was the Director of Health Services at Concord Hospital in NSW. Garry has since moved to Tasmania where he is the Director of Rehabilitation for the Department of Health. Garry talks about the rehabilitation program they developed for staff at Concord Hospital and their subsequent research evaluation. more >>
Dr Mary Wyatt | A look at barriers to return to work for those out of work for two years. Return to work after being off work for long periods is challenging and uncommon, understanding the barriers is vital.
Take Home Messages: Efforts to identify and remove common problems that disempower workers and reduce their participation need to be identified and addressed. Strategies that foster worker engagement are important to improve return to work outcomes. Whilst there has been a traditional focus on medical restrictions and capacity, identifying communication, bureaucratic and system barriers is likely to be more effective in improving return to work outcomes. more >>
A course of antibiotics may be enough to cure up to 40 per cent of chronic back pain cases, The Guardian reports. A recent study showed that many of the worst cases of chronic back pain were caused by bacterial infections. The results have surprised surgeons and doctors. "This is vast. We are talking about probably half of all spinal surgery for back pain being replaced by taking antibiotics," said Peter Hamlyn, consultant neurological and spinal surgeon at University College London hospital. "This will not help people with normal back pain, those with acute, or sub-acute pain – only those with chronic lower back pain," said Dr Hanne Albert, of the Danish research team. "These are people who live a life on the edge because they are so handicapped with pain. We are returning them to a form of normality they would never have expected."
People with job stress and an unhealthy lifestyle are at higher risk of coronary artery disease than people who have job stress but lead healthy lifestyles, found a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). "The risk of coronary artery disease was highest among participants who reported job strain and an unhealthy lifestyle; those with job strain and a healthy lifestyle had about half the rate of thisdisease," writes Dr. Mika Kivimäki. "These observational data suggest that a healthy lifestyle could substantially reduce the risk of coronary artery disease risk among people with job strain."
People who used a workplace wellness center on frequent basis reported an improvement in their overall quality-of-life, while those that used the center less often reported no improvements in their physical quality-of-life and a decline in their mental quality-of-life, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion. While fitness is a key domain of wellness, wellness is also relationships, spirituality, quality of life, nutrition, resiliency, stress management and financial well-being,” said lead author Matthew Clark, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry and psychology at the Mayo Clinic. “To examine wellness we need to include more domains than just fitness...When life is super stressful, the motivation for wellness probably takes a big hit."
For adults with no apparent symptoms of depression, routine screening is not recommended in primary care settings because of the lack of high-quality evidence on the benefits and harms of screening for depression. "In the absence of a demonstrated benefit of screening, and in consideration of the potential harms, we recommend not routinely screening for depression in primary care settings, either in adults at average risk or in those with characteristics that may increase their risk of depression," writes Dr. Michael Joffres, chair of the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care (CTFPHC) depression guideline writing group and member of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, with coauthors.
Patients coping with chronic pain should also be evaluated for anxiety disorders, according to new research published in General Hospital Psychiatry. “I think [health care] providers are more aware of the common occurrence of depression in patients with chronic pain, and there has been less of an emphasis on anxiety,” said lead author Kurt Kroenke, M.D., professor of medicine at Indiana University in Indianapolis. The study found that 45 percent of the pain patients screened positive for at least one or more of the common anxiety disorders. And those who had an anxiety disorder also reported significantly worse pain and health-related quality of life than patients without a disorder. “Many patients benefit from cognitive behavioural therapy to help them in coping with the pain and related anxiety,” said pain expert Roger Chou, M.D. “Just throwing pain medications at someone like this doesn’t tend to be very effective since you’re not dealing with an important driver of the pain.”
The offspring of parents who were addicted to drugs or alcohol are more likely to be depressed in adulthood, according to a new study by University of Toronto researchers. After adjusting for age, sex and race, parental addictions were associated with more than twice the odds of adult depression. Co-author Robyn Katz, suggests that, “It is possible that the prolonged and inescapable strain of parental addictions may permanently alter the way these children’s bodies reacts to stress throughout their life. One important avenue for future research is to investigate potential dysfunctions in cortisol production – the hormone that prepares us for 'fight or flight' – which may influence the later development of depression.”