Consequences of (chronic) illness for work, support of return to work
This EMUTOM lesson contains educational materials about assessing fitness for work and supporting return to work. Important parts of this lesson are ‘the ICF model’ and ‘the questions every physician should ask his/her patients about fitness for work’.
(Chronic) health problems may be the cause of disabilities, reduced participation and sickness absence. This impact can be evaluated from different perspectives. An employee who is ill will determine for himself whether he or she is able to work. In order to organize the work a manager will evaluate the enterprises’ possibilities when an employee is on sick leave and cannot work. The general practitioner will consider the patient’s circumstances at work in his/her clinical reasoning and treatment plan. The occupational physician will evaluate any problems which might impede returning to work. To what extent a long-term sick employee invokes rightly for a disability insurance will be evaluated by an insurance physician. Of the medical hospital specialists the rehabilitation physician will be the most important to deal with recovery of functioning, also in work. All these doctors use their own definitions and criteria for evaluating disability. Personal values and ethics play a role. And of course, the national contexts with their different laws and regulations are important. (see EMUTOM chapter one) The International Classification of Functioning, disability and health (ICF) model provides a framework for assessing disability in a more objective way and for planning active interventions. This ICF model also enables the communication between different medical specialties.
If you want to take a look at the self-assessment exercises and the power-point presentation of this lesson, clickhttps://emutom.eu/chapter3.php