S76: “I am a whole person that happens to have an injury”: The effectiveness of social prescribing as an intervention for people with work-related injuries and psychosocial difficulties.

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By September 17, 2019 No Comments

Authors: JR Baker, Theresa Caruana, Christina Aggar

Year: 2019

Event: 2019 TheMHS Conference

Subject: "I am a whole person that happens to have an injury": The effectiveness of social prescribing as an intervention for people with work-related injuries and psychosocial difficulties.

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers



Dr J.R. Baker is the CEO of Primary & Community Care services and a registered psychologist. He has extensive experience in health innovation, the management of community-based health and mental health programs, population health planning, education and training, program design and development, primary care engagement, and stakeholder management. He completed a BA in Psychology from Brown University, a Graduate Diploma in Public Sector Innovation from the University of Technology Sydney, a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology from Monash University, a Master of Psychology from Swinburne University and a PhD in Psychology from Swinburne University. His publication record includes papers and presentations on ICT and productivity, human factors, ICT usage and wellbeing, workforce development and training, capacity and capability building in primary and community care, cross-sectoral partnership building, and patient journey modelling and service redesign.

Theresa is a Research Officer in the School of Health and Human Services, Southern Cross University. She has postgraduate qualifications in Social Work, Psychology, and Public Health, and has a background in mental health and community services work, policy, and education.

Psychosocial interventions that encourage optimism and connectedness have been shown to promote workplace injury recovery and improve overall wellbeing. [1,2] Plus Social for injured workers with psychosocial difficulties is a pilot twelve-week social prescribing program operating in the greater Sydney area that aims to increase social and economic participation, improve psychological functioning and quality of life, and decrease health service utilisation. This presentation will describe the model of care and discuss the findings of a mixed-methods exploratory study involving pre- and post-intervention participant data (n = 175), activity reports, and participant interviews. A person-centred, holistic care approach to assisting injured workers can contribute to meaningful improvements in wellbeing that include greater self-awareness, reduced pain and distress, stronger social connections, reduced welfare needs, and improved motivation and capability to recover from injury and employment loss.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective (1): People in the audience will gain an understanding of what social prescribing involves, and how it can meet the unmet health and wellbeing needs of injured workers with psychosocial difficulties.
Learning Objective (2):This topic is relevant to mental health services and mental health issues because psychosocial support services can promote coping skills and strategies to limit and manage negative health and wellbeing impacts of workplace injury and status loss, including pain, distress, and loneliness.

[1] Cole D. C., Mondloch M. V., & Hogg-Johnson, S. (2002). Listening to injured workers: How recovery expectations predict outcomes—a prospective study. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 166(6), 749–754. Retrieved from https://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.ezproxy.scu.edu.au/pmc/articles/PMC99453/pdf/20020319s00019p749.pdf
[2] McLinton, S., McLinton, S. S., & van der Linden, M. (2018). Psychosocial factors impacting workplace injury rehabilitation: Evaluation of a concise screening tool. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 28(1), 121–129. doi:10.1007/s10926-017-9701-6

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