Fear about job security and finances are weighing heavily on the minds of many injured Australians – and it’s setting back their recovery and return to work, new research from workplace health solutions provider Konekt has shown. And it’s time for employers, insurers and healthcare professionals to consider biopsychosocial factors in treating injured workers, says Konekt.
The Konekt Market Report, compiled in conjunction with research and data-analysis experts Littleton Consulting, analysed more than 156,000 rehabilitation cases from around Australia over the past eight years – and it shows that for work-injured employees, financial and job security concerns are the second most common risk factor to rehabilitation and a return to work behind psychological factors
“Over the past 10-15 years, people have become more afraid to speak up when they have an injury because of job uncertainty – and these insecurities and chronic stresses have certainly been exacerbated in recent times by things such as mortgage stress,” says Dr Chris Stevens, Principal Psychologist, CommuniCorp Group, an expert in mental health in the workplace and workplace wellbeing programs.
“It’s why taking a holistic approach to rehabilitation is even more crucial than ever. Biopsychosocial injury management takes into account physical, psychological and social factors that can impact an injured worker’s ability to function and participate in work, as well as their motivation to find a new job.”
What is needed, Dr Stevens says, is ‘work oriented treatment’, which requires all stakeholders including employers, human resources managers, insurers and healthcare professionals, to better understand all factors impacting the worker – i.e. their physical and mental state, the work environment, home and wider community – and developing a suitable treatment plan.
To download your copy of the Konekt Market Report Volume 4, click here.