“In the past, if you presented to a doctor for a knee injury and they asked about previous depression or anxiety, that would not be expected and people might be reluctant to share information,” Jennifer Cogbill, senior vice president of GBcare, says. “Now, globally people are talking about mental health issues more than ever. One of the most common medications prescribed now are antidepressants.” (Credit: Tadamichi) “In the past, if you presented to a doctor for a knee injury and they asked about previous depression or anxiety, that would not be expected and people might be reluctant to share information,” Jennifer Cogbill, senior vice president of GBCARE, says. “Globally people are talking about mental health issues more than ever. One of the most common medications prescribed now are antidepressants.” (Credit: Tadamichi)

Be it a fear of pain, catastrophizing an injury, blaming others for their accident, dissatisfaction with their job or just a general pessimistic outlook on life, a host of mental factors — whether preexisting or brought on by a workplace accident — can prolong an injured worker’s recovery, in turn, increasing health care cost and ultimately impacting claims.

“There are a number of studies out there that says psychological risk factors can explain as much as 35%-40% variance in how we respond to an injury or illness,” says Tammy Bradly, senior director of clinical product marketing for Enlyte, “That’s pretty astounding. The rest is made up of our genetics, social and environmental factors, and only a small part is really attributed to the health care we received.”

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Steve Hallo

Steve Hallo is managing editor of PropertyCasualty360.com. He can be reached at [email protected].  

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