Critical Incident Response

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OccHealth by Altius team developed a biopsychosocial rehabilitative approach that enabled John to restore his confidence, function and safely return to work.

John, in his 50s, is a self-employed electrician. He works 50-60 hours per week, including physically demanding tasks and administration responsibilities. John has always been fit and active, walking daily on the treadmill and regularly engaging in social community activities, including participating in a local bagpipes group.

Over two years ago, John was drilling a light fixing in an overhead position. John’s drill became locked into place and continued spinning whilst his right arm remained holding the drill. As a result, he was diagnosed with a full thickness tear to his right supraspinatus tendon and subacromial bursitis. In addition to this, he also developed tennis elbow due to a range of compensatory patterns.

John was determined to recover from the outset, keen to resume life and return to work. He needed more than just physical rehabilitation, he needed a functional recovery approach to help him return to work and to life without aggravating his right shoulder injury.

John experienced many of the challenges most injured workers with musculoskeletal injuries face:

  • Extensive deconditioning and lack of muscular strength.
  • Ambivalence about his medical condition and its recurrence
  • Stress caused by ongoing rehabilitation on a weekly basis, medical appointments and navigating wage benefits and reimbursements, all whilst juggling and continuing to operate his self-employed business.

The objective of referring John to OccHealth by Altius was to assist with his recovery through problem-solving, goal setting and developing a recovery plan to restore his life roles including work. OccHealth by Altius determined that John would benefit from the personalised Recovery and Wellness Initiative (RAWI) to support his recovery and to provide self-management strategies for John to regain control of his life.

The rehabilitation approach

Our team developed a biopsychosocial rehabilitative approach that enabled John to restore his confidence, function and safely return to work. This included:

  • Providing exercise physiology treatment including rehabilitation exercise, self-management strategies, promotion of community engagement and addressing self-provided personal goals.
  • Providing support and education on chronic musculoskeletal rehabilitation and return to work.
  • Providing workplace-based support and guidance through workplace treatment sessions, task modification, pacing and feedback to rebuild confidence and trust.
  • Coordinating and case conferencing with treating providers to ensure consistent feedback and goal alignment to support both the treaters and the client.
  • Designing a graded recovery at work plan for John, with fine-tuning and adjustment along the way to ensure sustainability with the insurer’s support.

    John successfully returned to his full-time pre-injury role working 50-60 hours per week as a self-employed electrician.


    Improvement throughout RAWI- Case study

The engagement, support and alignment of stakeholders combined with John’s determination and adherence to the self-management strategies provided through the program, this exceptional result is being sustained.

John is adhering to his goals by:

  • Attending the gymnasium up to three times per week independently.
  • Joining in his community-based bagpipes group twice a week.
  • Completing home-based stretches and walking up to 30 minutes each day.

Improvement in Tolerance with RAWI - Case study

John’s General Practitioner noted the benefits of the RAWI in assisting John to re-gain control of his life:

The RAWI program is a fantastic program which is exactly what John needed for his recovery. The weekly personalized support was paramount to John’s chances of a successful recovery and return to full-time work”.

For information about tailored return to work solutions please contact us.