Updates from the WCB

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 47, No. 5, June 2005, Page 227 WorkSafeBC

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

 Just call us “WorkSafeBC”

Beginning in July, you’ll begin to hear a new name on the other end of the phone when you contact your local WCB office. And later this year, you’ll notice a new look on our forms, correspondence, and other materials. That’s because we recently introduced our evolved brand, consisting of a new name and logo: “WorkSafeBC: Working to make a difference.”

Over the course of the year, the new logo will gradually replace the existing WCB identity, though the Workers’ Compensation Board will remain our legal name. “The new logo is an evolved symbol representing the heart of what we stand for,” says Scott McCloy, director of Communications at WorkSafeBC. “It highlights our primary mandate of health and safety, and encompasses our partnership with workers, employers, and suppliers toward the prevention of workplace injury and disease, return to work of injured workers, and customer service.”

Don Graham, MD, CCFP. Updates from the WCB. BCMJ, Vol. 47, No. 5, June, 2005, Page(s) 227 - WorkSafeBC.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

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For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org

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