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Biopsychosocial approach

Applying a biopsychosocial approach to injury management promotes awareness and consideration of a person, their injury and their social environment. This approach ensures that injury management programs are specifically tailored to a person’s individual needs.

The biopsychosocial approach consists of three main areas:

Biological: physical health, mental health. Psychological: mood, personality, behaviour. Social: culture, family, socioeconomic.

The impact of an injury can overlap across a combination of these areas for a person.

Effective injury management relies on understanding the whole person including their physical, psychological and social needs. Injury management programs need to allow for these aspects to be understood and addressed by appropriate interventions.

There is a range of rehabilitation interventions that can be applied to minimise the impact of the injury in each of these areas:

Biological challenges

  • Poor health condition
  • Job demands
  • Increased healthcare required
  • Limited activity

Rehabilitation interventions

  • Timely provision of health care and treatment
  • Evidence based treatment
  • Restoring function and gradually improving functional ability
  • Modified work duties

Psychological challenges

  • Lack of confidence or belief
  • Past experiences of trauma
  • Inability to cope
  • Low resilience
  • Perceived injustice
  • Lack of trust

Rehabilitation interventions

  • Help change behaviour
  • Shift negative perceptions or beliefs
  • Understand attitudes and beliefs
  • Counselling

Social challenges

  • Attitudes towards health and disability
  • Family pressures
  • Changes in socialising activities
  • Significant person interfering with claim
  • Low education level

Rehabilitation interventions

  • Involvement of employer critical  particularly in return to work planning
  • Establish social network at work and at home
  • Positive organisational processes and attitudes regarding return to work
Last updated
14 June 2019

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