Need psychology services for patients with workplace injuries?
The WCB can help
The WCB provides assessment and treatment for workers with psychological conditions that are the direct result of a work-related injury or psychological trauma. The most common psychological conditions accepted by the WCB are mood disorders (depression), anxiety disorders (including post-traumatic stress disorder), and sequelae from brain injuries.
If you have a patient who presents with a variety of nonspecific complaints and you’ve ruled out a physical cause, you are in an important position to screen for early signs of psychological illness. As with almost all clinical conditions, early intervention is important. Here’s how we can help.
Our assessment and treatment services
Our psychology advisors—all doctoral-level registered psychologists—provide clinical opinions, assist with clinical planning and management, expedite referrals for psychological services, and liaise with community clinicians and WCB physicians, including the WCB’s consulting psychiatrist, so that appropriate psychological and medical intervention can occur.
Our psychological assessment network consists of approximately 130 registered psychologists across BC who provide psychological and neuropsychological assessments. A further 300 community-based psychologists provide treatment to injured workers. In 2004, the WCB’s network of community psychologists conducted 960 psychological assessments and treated about 780 injured workers.
To enhance recovery and reduce claim duration, we expect a timely consultation from this provider group. For assessments, the average time from referral to consultation report is 32 days. Treatment typically begins within a week of referral.
Often, psychological problems present as confounding factors in prolonged claims. For conditions such as concussion, brain injury, or chronic pain, with concomitant psychological problems such as depression, the WCB contracts a variety of multidisciplinary programs to clarify diagnosis and provide treatment.
When and how to refer
For a psychology claim to be accepted by the WCB there must be a significant causal relationship between the injury and the clinical psychological condition in question.
If you believe your patient is experiencing a mood disorder, anxiety disorder, or brain injury related to a work injury, please submit your concerns on a Form 8 or Form 11 or contact your nearest WCB office and speak to a psychology advisor. If appropriate, the WCB will arrange for a psychological assessment and adjudicate the acceptability of the claim after gathering sufficient information for a decision. If the claim is accepted and treatment is warranted, the WCB will arrange for psychological therapy to assist with recovery.
Your early recognition of psychological symptoms and notification to the WCB will ensure that your patient receives timely and appropriate evidence-based psychology services by qualified clinicians, close to home.
—Don Graham, MD
WCB Chief Medical Officer
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About the ICMJE and citation styles
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