Addressing the physical, psychological and social rehabilitation needs of clients

Addressing the physical, psychological and social rehabilitation needs of clients

Injury and illness are associated with obvious physical impairment but non-physical impairment may play an important role too. Physical issues can be followed up with a tangible program of rehabilitation but what happens when the side effects are more psychological in nature?

It is no surprise that a serious injury or health diagnosis may be associated with the onset or relapse of a mental health condition. A number of studies have shown a link between depression and prostate cancer. In one study of more than 600 people, 97% of prostate cancer patients believed more needed to be done to recognise the symptoms of anxiety and depression, and help find treatment.1 This highlights the important need for psychological rehabilitation, alongside the physical.

Other conditions may be linked to cognitive decline and require specialised cognitive rehabilitation support. This can be the case for stroke survivors whose quality of life and ability to perform daily living activities are adversely impacted.2 Yet other situations, like a serious injury, may result in post-traumatic stress which requires a different avenue of support.

 

Stepping up rehabilitation support

Insurers like ClearView are stepping up to support the mental rehabilitation of clients as part of the claims process. In fact ClearView recently won an award for best Rehabilitation and Claims Support (Adviser View) at the Health & Wellness Excellence Awards. The award was judged on five factors: rehabilitation, counselling and coaching support, vocational and retraining support, return-to-work initiatives, knowledge of staff and recovery support.

ClearView Head of Claims Lee-Ann Barnard says everyone has unique rehabilitation needs. “When developing a rehabilitation program it’s important to take a person-centred approach that looks at the recovery needs of each individual. 

“A person may have physically recovered but return to work to find they are struggling with psychological scars. They don’t realise the mental and emotional toll of their experience.”

IPAR National Account Manager – Life Insurance Stephanie Vujacic agrees, “A holistic approach to rehabilitation is key – one that addresses physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. This includes helping a person to adopt the right mindset to ensure the best chance of recovery.

“Along with helping someone return to work, this means we focus on ensuring they not only have the right treatment but the appropriate social support and tools to manage their health. For example, providing access to a coaching program that helps identify recovery beliefs and potential barriers to recovery has shown to be successful.

“We may also link them up with local community or social resources like support or interest groups because connecting with people who have had a similar experience can be beneficial in providing hope for recovery.”
 


Role of advisers in supporting the rehabilitation needs of clients

Advisers are often at the forefront of the claims process but not all recognise the need for psychological or social rehabilitation. As a result this can be neglected in the claims process and potentially mean customers miss out on a key component of support during a difficult time in their life.

What can advisers do to support clients?
  • Advise ClearView of a potential claim as soon as you find out. Access to early rehabilitation support is available even during the waiting period.
  • Be aware that returning to work, while really important for overall health, is just one part of rehabilitation and there are other areas of wellbeing that should be addressed with your client.
  • Talk to your client about the full scope and benefits of rehabilitation and the positive impact it will have on their wellbeing.
  • Watch for signs that your client may be feeling anxious or depressed. Talk to your ClearView Claims Assessor about any concerns.
  • Think about whether it would be helpful for clients to communicate directly with claims assessors to help identify the components of rehabilitation that will best suit the client.
  • Encourage your client to stay connected to their employer while on claim. ClearView can help with that. It has been shown that assisting someone to return to their pre-disability employer provides the best chance of returning to work.
  • If a client returns to work but finds they are struggling, speak to your ClearView Claims Assessor. In some cases, a return to claim with no waiting period may be an option.

For more information on the range of rehabilitation benefits available for your clients speak to your ClearView Business Development Manager
 

The longer a person is off work, the less likely they will return to work.

If a person is off work for:

  • 20 days the chance of ever getting back to work is 70%
  • 45 days the chance of ever getting back to work is 50%
  • 70 days the chance of ever getting back to work is 35% 3
 
1. https://www.oncnursingnews.com/contributor/cancer-care/2018/09/the-importance-of-identifying-anxiety-and-depression-in-men-with-prostate-cancer
2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1052305719303404
3. https://www.racp.edu.au/advocacy/division-faculty-and-chapter-priorities/faculty-of-occupational-environmental-medicine/health-benefits-of-good-work

This information is current as at November 2019. This article is for adviser use only and is intended to provide general information. While all care has been taken to ensure the information is accurate and reliable, to the maximum extent the law permits, ClearView and its related bodies corporate, or each of their directors, officers, employees, contractors or agents, will not assume liability to any person for any error or omission in this material however caused, nor be responsible for any loss or damage suffered, sustained or incurred by any person who either does, or omits to do, anything in reliance on the information contained herein.