Work Disability Prevention Course (Year 2)

General

Program Description

Work disability occurs when a worker is unable to resume or remain at work because of a health problem. The productivity loss resulting from poor employee health or work disability imposes large individual, social, and economical burdens and is a major concern to workers, their families, employers, policy makers, insurers, and occupational health service providers. Work disability and consequences can be reduced or even prevented.

Course objectives

To develop transdisciplinary WDP knowledge, skills and attitudes in Ph.D. students, post-doctoral fellows and practitioners with a master’s degree who are linked to the WDP field. The program will be adapted to fulfill the competence needs for both researchers and practitioners. This course has been accepted as a theoretical course (22 hours) demanded in the medical specialist education in the training programs of occupational health services at the University of Helsinki in Finland. The acceptance is valid for the specialist training programs at the Faculty of Medicine of all Finnish universities.

Target group

PhD students, students at post-master level, Occupational health professionals (physicians, ergonomists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, etc.), rehabilitation professionals, representatives of insurance companies and social insurance. Participants may choose to follow the complete program or parts of it. Those who choose the complete program will have priority, aiming to a suitable mix of researchers and practitioners.

Course outline

The language of the course is English. Lectures will be mixed with group- and individual work. Participants are requested to present posters and the course program includes a pre-assignment.

Main topics

Participants may choose to follow the complete program or parts of it. Those who choose the complete program will have priority, aiming to a suitable mix of researchers and practitioners.

  • Year 1 (2016): Work disability prevention, with focus on theoretical, methodological, ethical and practical challenges (including transdisciplinarity)
  • Year 2 (2017): Intervention research with focus on workplace interventions, and prevention of sick leave through promotion of healthy organizations (incl. health promotion of both individuals and work places)
  • Year 3 (2018): Sociopolitical challenges, and implementation of evidence-based practice

Work Disability Prevention (Year 1) online course is a short introduction to the topic and will give a good basis to attend part 2 and 3.

Background

Work disability occurs when a worker is unable to resume or remain at work because of a health problem. The productivity loss resulting from poor employee health or work disability imposes large individual, social, and economical burdens and is a major concern to workers, their families, employers, policy makers, insurers, and occupational health service providers. Evidence indicates that work disability results from complex interplays involving several stakeholders (workplace, family, insurer, healthcare providers) interacting with the patient/worker in the disability process. Addressing this systemic and multidimensional disability problem requires adopting a transdisciplinary perspective. This evidence applies to various types of disorders (such as musculoskeletal disorders, mental health problems, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer) because the focus of work disability prevention (WDP) is helping workers stay productive at work, or return to a healthy productive work life. Each researcher and practitioner entering the field of WDP comes from a specific discipline (e.g., medicine, rehabilitation, biomechanics, psychology, social sciences). Based on their discipline and training, they often have a relatively narrow perspective on work disability and are not well prepared to address the complexity of WDP. In particular, they are not prepared to design and conduct field studies or interventions involving multiple stakeholders who have different perspectives (employers, unions, social insurance authorities, occupational health and health care) or to utilize evidence-based knowledge. For researchers, this may lead to difficulties in developing and implementing research projects and interventions and may discourage some researchers from continuing in the WDP field. For practitioners, it may be difficult to get access to ongoing research and debates, and thus to use the newest insights from the field in their daily work. Parallel to that, it may be difficult for researchers to get a full understanding of current practical issues, for example the changing conditions in working life, before they are studied or published, which hampers their research. Transdisciplinary exchange of research and practice at academic level and building bridges between these areas seem to be of high importance for professional development and to move the field forward by building a transdisciplinary ‘body of knowledge’. Opportunities to train researchers and practitioners in the full spectrum of WDP and work and health issues are rare as are opportunities for exchanging insights from research and practice. They generally occur informally through close collaboration with some of the few research leaders in this field or through professional networks. However, these leaders and networks are geographically dispersed, leaving little opportunity for cross-fertilization. The transdisciplinary training program in Work Disability Prevention helps researchers and practitioners develop transdisciplinary knowledge, skills and attitudes regarding WDP by using the trainees' own disciplinary knowledge and research projects to contribute to the transdisciplinary experience. The Transdisciplinary WDP Program builds on the experiences of the WDP Strategic Training Program initiated in Canada and funded by CIHR. The Program will be led by mentors from Sweden, Finland, other Nordic countries, and the Netherlands, who are all distinguished for their significant contribution to the advancement of WDP and also have experience from the Canadian program. Ute Bültmann, Christian Ståhl and Kari-Pekka Martimo are former trainees in the Canadian program, and Ute Bültmann, Christian Ståhl and Kerstin Ekberg have served as mentors in the program. In addition, Ute Bültmann is a member of the Program Executive Board. We also have strong ties with the developer of the WDP program, Professor Patrick Loisel, who is fully supporting this initiative. Angelique de Rijk has a long-standing experience with development of education and teaching on WDP for international, multidisciplinary groups of students (co-)director of studies MSc program Work & Health and Work, Health and Career at Maastricht University; lecturer for the PhD-course on sickness absence at the Karolinska Institute). Her PhD-students were trainees in the WDP Program.

Last updated Dec 2017

About the School

The mission of the Nordic Institute for Advanced Training in Occupational Health is set by the Nordic Council of Ministers. The acronym NIVA originates from the Swedish language title Nordiska Institu ... Read More

The mission of the Nordic Institute for Advanced Training in Occupational Health is set by the Nordic Council of Ministers. The acronym NIVA originates from the Swedish language title Nordiska Institutionen för Vidareutbildning inom Arbetsmiljöområdet. Read less
Helsinki , Copenhagen , Reykjavík , Oslo , Alsike , Stockholm , Finland Online + 6 More Less