Workers’ compensation boards, or WCBs, help to prevent, assess, and care for any injury that a person gets while working at his or her job. Often these injuries are physical, like breaking an arm or pulling a muscle. Sometimes, it may be a worker’s mental health that is injured, like feeling anxious or depressed. This can be caused by something awful happening at work. WCBs call these kinds of injuries “traumatic psychological Injuries (TPI).” They want to help prevent workers from getting these problems so that they can stay well and keep working. We know a lot about how to prevent physical injuries; we don’t know as much about preventing mental health problems from bad things that happen at work.
This is our fourth research project about psychological injuries. We will have found out what helps workers the most when something upsetting happens at work, and the best ways to help prevent work-related mental health problems. With this project, we will investigate and report on currently available “grey literature” information regarding approaches to the prevention of work-related TPI. Additionally, we will produce a series of video talks with information compiled from all four of our research projects on this topic (i.e., this proposed project as well as the previous three). Finally, we will produce resources that address the information needs of Workers’ Compensation Board of Alberta (WCB) adjudicators.
We aim to develop a set of resources that discuss the following questions:
1. What factors (claimant-specific, trauma-specific, or other) can help prevent TPI or the consequences of TPI?
2. What interventions, treatments or programs can help prevent TPI or the consequences of TPI?
3. Are there interventions, treatments, or programs that are not recommended, that may have adverse effects, or that may exacerbate the symptoms or consequences of TPI?
4. What are the most effective treatments for claimants with TPI or suspected TPI?
5. What factors are associated with good or poor outcomes in claimants who have experienced work-related TPI?
6. Are there identifiable factors that make claimants good or poor candidates for specific treatment modalities or programs?
7. What factors can be identified that are associated with posttraumatic growth?
Dr. Sebastian Straube, University of Alberta