Research pinpoints common link between workplace injuries and depression in workers comp cases

Stephen Pfeiffer | Qualified Medical Evaluator

In order to completely and accurately diagnose workers comp patients, medical professionals must account for the high possibility of depression in connection with physical injury.

By Stephen M. Pfeiffer, Ph.D.

Last week, Governor Brown both signed and vetoed several new pieces of California workers compensation legislation, bringing much media attention to the matter of work comp costs and to statewide efforts to prevent abuses within the system. According to commentators quoted in the Insurance Journal, the newly enacted laws are designed to keep costs steady and “create greater efficiencies” to benefit workers and employers alike. However, while such legislative action is a critical component of an equitable workers comp system for both California business owners and their employees, it is also only part of a much larger picture – one that relies as much on comprehensive injury analysis and thorough diagnoses and treatment as it does on system-wide management of rules and regulations.

In any workers compensation injury case, each employee’s medical and psychological evaluation is vital to determining the validity and breadth of their compensation claim – and nowhere is this more pertinent (or more complex) than in cases where on-the-job injuries are likely to incur psychological trauma as well. Various study results examining leading work-related disabilities — such as musculoskeletal disorders and orthopaedic injuries – reveal a very high likelihood that patients will experience psychological distress in the form of depressive disorders as a result of their physical injuries. In one study published in the Annals of General Psychiatry, researchers found a high incidence of depression in orthopaedic outpatients, both as a result of socio-economic circumstances and the nature of bone pathology related to their disabilities. In addition, Australian researchers pinpointed a similar tendency towards anxiety and depression in patients with work-related musculoskeletal disorders – leading them to conclude that, as noted in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the occupational rehabilitation needs of such patients may be underestimated on a frequent basis.

Qualified medical evaluations provide the key to fair claims processing and full employee rehabilitation

When an individual sustains a musculoskeletal or orthopaedic injury on the job, physical rehabilitation is of course an essential step in helping them prepare to return to work. However, if the psychological ramifications of those injuries are not taken into account during an initial medical examination, such individuals may fail to receive comprehensive care – and subsequently, find themselves struggling to perform at their former level even after considerable treatment and physical therapy.

As with any psychological work-related injury, depression or anxiety as a side-effect of physical trauma may be difficult to detect – and in some cases, such claims may result in accusations or perpetration of work comp fraud. Only a trained and experienced Qualified Medical Evaluator can determine the full breadth of a claimant’s alleged psychological injury: to learn more, visit www.pfeifferphd.com.

Related posts:

  1. Workplace trauma boosts PTSD risk for military and civilian employees alike
  2. Escalating hospital violence threatens safety, heightens stress levels for medical employees
  3. Buying precious metals: a beginner guide
  4. Balanced design and sustainable energy solutions lend protection against erratic temperatures
  5. Salvage-title vehicles: an affordable alternative or a dangerous scam?

Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=52537

Posted by Social Media Staff on Oct 16, 2011. Filed under Columns, Sponsored Columns, Stephen M. Pfeiffer, Ph.D.. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • Motorcyclist killed in accident near Del Mar Fairgrounds July 21, 2014
    The motorcyclist killed in a two-vehicle crash near the Del Mar Fairgrounds over the weekend was identified July 21 as a 22-year-old Escondido man. Alexander Mackenzie Williams was headed west on Via de la Valle near Jimmy Durante Boulevard at a high rate of speed shortly before 6:30 p.m. Sunday, July 20, when he lost control and swerved into oncoming traffi […]
  • Bestselling author Jojo Moyes discusses her novels with fans at Del Mar Country Club luncheon July 21, 2014
    “On my last book tour, I had a day off in Portland and it was very nice,” said bestselling novelist Jojo Moyes at a luncheon recently held at the Del Mar Country Club. Then she paused, looked around and added, “But I can tell you a day off in La Jolla is better.” The British author definitely knows how to please an audience – as evidenced not just by the war […]
  • Solana Beach employee featured at City Hall Gallery July 21, 2014
    From Monday through Friday, David Kloz works as a management analyst for the city of Solana Beach. When he’s not at work, Kloz is often outside with a camera. A collection of his photos is currently on exhibit at his workplace, the Solana Beach City Hall. It’s the amateur photographer’s first ever show. “I’m curious to see what the response is going to be,” […]