MHCC Psychological Injury Management Guide (PIMG)

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1.2: Injury Management Framework

1.2.1: The traditional approach to injury management

The traditional approach to injury management includes:

  • Predominantly biomedical factors
  • A focus on individual distress and Impairment
  • Risk management
  • A linear return-to-work process; healing occurs during absence from, and prior to returning to, the workplace

1.2.2: Injury management is changing

Injury Management has changed significantly over recent years. Just as our sector has moved beyond solely using the medical model for mental health support - so too has the occupational health sector for workplace injury management.

In June 2011, the Heads of Workers' Compensation Authorities and Heads of Compulsory Third Party released the following statement:

the traditional medical model, which assumes a linear relationship between disease, symptoms, disability, and incapacity for work … is often inadequate as it can:

  • be too simplistic
  • over-emphasise impairment
  • incorrectly assume a direct causal link between impairment and disability
  • fail to take sufficient account of the personal and social dimensions of disability

"We accept [the World Health Organisation's generic biopsychosocial approach as
critical to improving outcomes when managing injured workers".

The above statement prompts us to reconsider our approach to injury management.

1.2.3: MHCC framework for injury management

Our injury management framework overlaps with health promotion and injury prevention and includes:

  • Improving individual capacity, health and wellbeing
  • Attending to individual distress and injury
  • Improving organisational climate and leadership
  • Safety and injury management systems

1.2.4: Potential Injury Pathway