Fostering functioning of workers: A new challenge for prevention in occupational health

Ludovic G.P.M. Van Amelsvoort, Carin P.M. De Brouwer, Yvonne F. Heerkens, Guy A.M. Widdershoven, Ijmert Kant

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Given large changes in working conditions and society, occupational health care has to prioritize its efforts towards fostering health and functioning of workers and as such promote work participation. This requires that more emphasis is given on the application of biopsychological models in the care of workers. Although a biopsychological approach is often mentioned as essential part of occupational health care, it's application is often hampered in practice, by practical barriers and lack of practical knowledge. This is illustrated by a study that uncovered facilitating and hindering factors in the implementation process of a preventive strategy, proven effective in reducing the risk of long term sickness absence. To facilitate the use of biopsychological models in occupational health care, it is shown that setting up a training curriculum is possible, based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) grafted on available training in evidence based practice skills is possible. Furthermore, there is a need for elaboration of the personal factors relevant for workers and the relevant work-related environmental factors to support practical application of ICF in occupational health care. A paradigm shift in occupational health care can facilitate widespread implementation of the biopsychosocial approach in occupational health and may stimulate occupational health professionals to further integrate this approach in their daily practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-156
Number of pages4
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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