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Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Specialty

Occupational Medicine

Advisor

Dr. Elyse Watkins

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this article is to review the mental health implications and psychological factors involved in workers’ compensation cases of injured employees. The review will identify recommendations for early interventions to improve the long-term emotional outcome and return to work process for occupational injuries.

Method: A PubMed literature search was conducted with search terms that included occupational injury, workers’ compensation, mental health implications, workplace injury, psychiatric condition, emotional health, musculoskeletal disorder, and return to work. There were twenty pertinent articles retrieved that served as the basis for this clinical review; nine resources were excluded due to lack of relevance in this clinical review. Two additional resources were utilized for background information and statistical purposes as retrieved from a Google search engine.

Results: The mental health implications of work-related injuries are evident. There is a distinct need in the field of occupational medicine for more education and information to be provided to clinicians, employers, and workers’ compensation carriers so that proper screening and support for the mental health of injured workers can be offered to reduce the impact of emotional distress.1

Conclusion: Medical providers who are aware of the problem of emotional distress and are trained to treat the whole patient following a workplace injury will contribute to the advancement of occupational health best practices when caring for injured employees.1 Further research is needed to establish a protocol for early intervention of workplace injuries to minimize the negative emotional and mental health impacts on injured workers.

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