Title: Effectiveness of Treatments for Traumatic Psychological Injury in a Workers’ Compensation Context
Category: Intervention Research
Subcategory: Intervention Research
Workers’ Compensation Boards help to assess and treat any injury that an employee has while working at his or her job. Often these are physical injuries, but we know workers can also suffer from mental health conditions from experiencing or seeing an upsetting event, like a cashier being robbed or a factory worker seeing a serious accident happen to a coworker. We call this a “traumatic psychological injury” (TPI), and workers can become clinically depressed or develop a condition called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), where they may have flashbacks, feel panicked, and find it hard to be around things that remind them of the accident. Workers’ Compensation Boards want to help workers with these conditions so that they can continue working. However, we know a lot more about the best way to treat physical injuries from work than we do about treatments for work-related traumatic psychological injuries. This research project will involve talking to people who work with employees who have work-related mental health issues across the country, as well as assessing what other researchers have found about different treatment options. We want to find out which treatments work best to help workers recover and return to work successfully, and what factors may make a difference to how well workers respond to treatment.
The objectives of this work include describing the treatments currently in use, the care models in which they exist, the perceived and evidence-based effectiveness of these treatments, identifying gaps in the existing knowledge body as well as anticipating and describing future needs within the Canadian context.
Our research project plans to support the optimal management of TPI by identifying, collating, and synthesizing evidence across scholarly literature, grey literature, and stakeholder experiences and insights. We envision that a potential future step of the research in this field will include creating formal evidence-supported guidance documents to expand on the current WCB Alberta care model.
Dr. Sebastian Straube, University of Alberta
Year Funded: 2017
Funding Agency: WCB Alberta
Link to research website:
Keywords: Traumatic psychological injury, PTSD, MDD, treatment evaluation, systematic review, stakeholder interviews