Many people with a work-related injury present symptoms of pain and depression, which can have a negative effect on their recovery. Symptoms of depression can hinder their ability to carry out important activities of daily living, including occupational activities. Studies have shown that injured workers with symptoms of depression stay off work twice as long as those who are not depressed. Interventions used to treat pain and functional disability in injured workers is clearly less effective when the workers also present symptoms of depression.
The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility and impact of a type of intervention designed specifically to address the needs of injured workers who have symptoms of both pain and depression. This type of intervention was called a “Progressive Goal Attainment Program” (PGAP). It combines a wide range of techniques designed to increase the practice of physical activities, improve mood and help the injured worker return to work.
The results of this study suggest that the PGAP may help improve the clinical condition and return to work of injured workers with symptoms of pain and depression. Most of the participants reported being satisfied with the treatments received and that their quality of life had improved.
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