During 2020 our OccHealth team marks 23 years of providing allied health services to a wide range of clients with an extensive range of physical and psychological conditions – including providing Exercise Physiology services to over 13,000 individuals suffering from compensable injuries.
OccHealth by Altius attributes reaching these milestones to their recovery approach, crafted to provide each worker with the best possible opportunity to realise their health potential.
The OccHealth by Altius approach includes:
- The realisation that recovery does not come from exercise alone
Individuals with injuries are human, with complex human beliefs, emotions, challenges and barriers to recovery. This is the basis of our approach, which combines: targeted exercise sessions to increase function; collaboration with stakeholders to devise the best strategies for each individual; pain and self-management education; health literacy and building trust. Through implementing this biopsychosocial approach, based on the best evidence-based research, we provide individuals with the foundations they need to achieve optimal levels of recovery and positive return to work outcomes, in the shortest possible timeframes. We treat the person, not the injury.
- Enacting positive behaviour change and promoting empowerment of self-management
Behaviour change is a vital first step in the road to recovery. Negative behaviours or mindsets following an injury, including the belief of “rest is best,” avoidance of activities and not working, are common, however, we know these behaviours and mindsets have detrimental effects, are likely to lead to delays in recovery and often prevent a return to an individual’s pre-injury life, due to a significant reduction in regular activities. This then leads to deconditioning, persisting symptoms and poor perceived quality of life. By focussing on the importance of being functionally active and empowering clients with the skills to manage their own condition and life quality, our Accredited Exercise Physiologists educate clients on the evidence-based benefits of exercise for both physical and psychological conditions. By implementing collaborative SMART goals focussed on increasing function, we look to reduce the impacts of commonly held negative beliefs following injury as well as address any prevalent psychosocial barriers as part of the treatment plan.
- Collaborating with all stakeholders involved
We draw on our wealth of experience to guide clients to recovery through the intricacies of the compensation scheme. Recovery within the compensation scheme relies heavily on communication and collaboration. OccHealth by Altius emphasises collaboration with all stakeholders, including the insurer, employer, doctor, specialists, treatment providers, rehabilitation consultants and support networks. By ensuring that all stakeholders are aligned on the best approach to an individual’s recovery, OccHealth by Altius are able to ensure consistent messaging regarding the benefits of staying functionally active, in turn achieving better outcomes. Equally important is attending reviews and the worksite, which further support an individual’s recovery and enable transparency around the individuals progress and goal attainments for all parties involved.
- Promotion of the Health Benefits of Good Work
The Health Benefits of Good Work (RACP HBGC Consensus Statement) provides the corner stone to the OccHealth by Altius approach to recovery. As a signatory to the Health Benefits of Good Work we educate clients on the importance of returning to work in promoting recovery. We highlight the negative effects of not working including: deconditioning; lack of confidence; financial issues; stress and anxiety; poor wellbeing; weight gain; reduced social and community engagement and reoccurring symptoms. This approach supports clients to return to work in a safe and durable way. The goal of our clients’ return to work and graded increases in activities of daily living are set in conjunction with our Exercise Physiologists to safely support individuals to achieve their goals and a return to pre-injury life. OccHealth by Altius has implemented this approach to recovery for over 22 years with great success.
Between 2016 and 2019 our approach resulted in:
- 93% of clients achieving an increase in work capacity
- 63% of clients upgraded to pre-injury duties
- 76% of clients returning to work in some capacity
- A reduction in psychosocial risk by 23% reflected through OMPQ scores (average decrease from 108 to 82)
- Improved client confidence and self-efficacy by 24% reflected through PSEQ scores (average increase from 35 to 45)
- Improved client wellbeing and quality of life by 32% reflected through WHO5 scores (average increase from 37 to 50)
- Improved client satisfaction scores by 24% (average increase from 6.77/10 to 8.42/10)