A new program in work disability prevention
To take care of the million Canadians injured every year
Sherbrooke, le 10 juin 2002 – A multidisciplinary team consisting of 24 specialists from 9 Canadian universities has been formed to offer a post-graduate program, its graduates will strive to prevent disabilities that more than a million Canadians are subjected to every year at work.
Funding for this unique program, which is administered by Université de Sherbroooke, was announced today by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) that will grant $ 1.8 million over a six-year period.
The Work Disability Prevention CIHR Strategic Training Program is directed by Patrick Loisel, founder of the Quebec Network for Work Rehabilitation (RRTQ), and meets our society's urgent needs. Patrick Loisel explains : "Work Disability Prevention is a fast-developing science that counts very few experts in the world. This type of prevention deals with a variety of aspects, such as ergonomics, neurobiology, medicine, occupational therapy, psychology, kinesiology, biomechanics, pharmacology, ethnology, anthropology as well as many other sciences. It therefore requires a transdisciplinary expertise that is presently spread out and that we want to aggregate".
The widespread Problem-based Learning Method which has contributed to the reputation of the Faculté de médecine from Université de Sherbrooke, is one of the educational methods employed. The pedagogical program is addressed to doctoral students registered in one of the sciences mentioned above and enables them to develop work disability prevention knowledge in addition to their specialty.
The graduates will have learned to answer questions brought up by work disability prevention. They will help suffering patients who are at risk of loosing their social role as workers. Furthermore, they will help limit the enormous social cost which represents over $ 1 billion spent annually to compensate for injuries inflicted at the workplace and their resulting illness.
"When health problems keep a person from returning to work for more than a month, it is referred to as a disability rather than an illness. Returning to work does not only depend on a complete physical recovery, but also on psychological and occupational aspects that start up suffering again and make the worker see his return to work with fright and reluctance. Proof need not be given anymore when it comes to back pain and we have recorded that they occur after heart attacks, vascular diseases, depressions and other health problems", explains Dr. Loisel.
At the moment, little research is done on work rehabilitation and the disability problems are increasing. The new program should help to train specialists who will find solutions to facilitate work rehabilitation without compromising productivity and quality. "These health professionals will have to unite the efforts and competences of ergonomists, engineers, ethicians and of all the practitioners such that interdisciplinary solutions are found for the multidimensional disability problems", states Patrick Loisel.
Uniting these efforts should allow the workers' life style to improve and also allow society to save $ millions in palliative measures.
– 30 –
For information :
Gilles Pelloille, responsable des communications
(819) 821-8000 # 3395
email : Gilles.Pelloille@USherbrooke.ca
Dr. Patrick Loisel, Professor
Faculté de médecine de l'Université de Sherbrooke
Campus de Longueuil
1111 St Charles Ouest, suite 101, Longueuil (Québec) J4K 5G4
email : Patrick.Loisel@USherbrooke.ca