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Workplace Disability Seminar - Calgary
Thu, 11 May 2017, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Depression: Overcoming a Complex and Costly Disease
Dr. Klaus Gendemann
Every week, 500,000 Canadians do not go to work because of mental illness, according to the Mental Health Commission of Canada. And more than 30 per cent of disability claims and 70 per cent of disability costs in Canada are attributed to mental illness — especially depression.
Depression is a neurobiological disorder with significant psychological features. This presentation will discuss the biological factors that cause depression symptoms. Dr. Gendemann will also explain the intrinsic factors (e.g. family history of depression) and extrinsic factors (e.g. drug abuse, social stressors, pain disorders, etc.) that may precipitate a depressive episode.
The last part of this session will outline the latest medical options to treat depression and the general prognosis for people who suffer from depressive disorders.
Chronic pain: What we know (and don’t know) about ‘somatoform disorders’
Dr. Chris Lyddell
Over the past few decades, particularly in developed countries, we have experienced an explosion of complaints about soft tissue pain from disorders not specifically associated with a definable pathologic process. The severity of these so-called ‘somatoform’ disorders incapacitates some people to the point of being unable to work, or at times even function on a day-to-day basis.
The mechanism by which these clinical syndromes cause disabling pain is poorly understood. The prevalence of chronic pain also varies in different countries and there are numerous associated psycho-social conditions.
However, it is clear that there is a significant prevalence of widespread pain of varying degrees in the public at large — and pain definitely increases with age!
Dr. Lyddell will discuss our current understanding of the more common chronic pain disorders, and emphasize the strengths and shortfalls of the current classification criteria.
Low Back Pain 101: Problem, Pain & Prevention
Dr. Maureen O’Brien
Low back pain (LBP) is the most common physical reason people visit their family doctor or emergency room. It has been estimated that LBP is responsible for up to 50 per cent of missed workdays, resulting in enormous lost income and workplace productivity.
Approximately 10 per cent of the population has LBP at any one point in time and more than 40 per cent of people will have LBP at some point in their lives. After an acute episode of LBP, symptoms usually improve quickly with 85 per cent of people completely better by six weeks. However, we are all aware of situations when this is not the case and a chronic condition develops.
This seminar will familiarize participants with the anatomy of the back and structures responsible for causing back pain. The types of LBP will be reviewed with emphasis on objective vs. subjective symptoms, including an explanation of ‘Waddell’s Signs.’
This seminar will outline the effective treatment and management of LBP to facilitate rehabilitation and attain full function. Prevention of chronic low back pain, an important workplace consideration, will also be discussed.
Functional Testing: the pragmatic use of FCEs as forensic tools
Tony Yong, Physiotherapist
Here are some common rehabilitation mysteries:
- Your employee has been attending rehabilitative therapies, but the condition is not improving.
- A substantial amount of time has passed; but your employee is still not ready to return to pre-accident work.
- Your employee is ready to return to work but the employer wants documented evidence supporting a safe return to full duties. How can this be substantiated?
A Functional Capacity Examination (FCE) acts as a ‘forensic tool’ to help resolve the mystery of what an employee can actually do.
Tony Yong will show how an FCE separates three general demographics:
- people who require a measurable functional status to be eligible for a return to work;
- people with ‘kinesiophobia’ (a well-documented fear of movement); and,
- people suspected of malingering.
Ultimately, the value of the FCE comes from measured results that indicate whether the employee is demonstrating maximal effort for the testing to be considered valid, AND is capable of returning to full activities of daily living and work — or requires further follow up.