Traumatic experience with or without physical injury can result in disruption at psychological, social and occupational levels. Individually will take varying time off work due to their injuries (both physical and psychological,) with an immediate effect on finding it difficult to return to work from a psychological point of view. It is therefore essential to accurately diagnose any trauma-related psychological disorder, recommend the appropriate psychological intervention and expedite this provision of this interview as rapidly as possible, alongside an expectation that, given a resolution or part-resolution of any physical injury, the individual will be able to return to work full time or part time within a short, foreseeable period of time.
It is interesting to note clinically that many individuals who have been able to return to work rapidly full time or part time notice a significant and rapid amelioration of any psychological symptoms in addition to improved pain coping experiences.
The utility and importance of having positive expectations about the ability to return to work is also being recognised and endorsed by those working at primary care level (GP’s, nurses, other specialists) who prefer to discuss what the individual can do rather than focus solely on deficits or disabilities.
In summary, when a claimant and specialists (lawyers; medico-legal experts; barristers, judiciary) discuss ongoing problems they need to be aware of the importance of:
- Accurate diagnosis of trauma-related psychological problems
- Appropriate recommendation for rapid psychological intervention
- Positive expectations of ability to return to work in some capacity, ability to return to work in some capacity, albeit altered role or hours.