This research project sought to provide Australian research on the Progressive Goal Attainment Program (PGAP). The PGAP aims to reduce the impact of four psychosocial risk factors known to be associated with work related disability. The psychosocial risk factors included are perceptions of injustice, catastrophic thinking, fear of activities associated with the persons condition and perceived levels of disability. The research project aimed to provide an evaluation of the PGAP on two levels. How effective is the program at reducing the four psychosocial risk factors associated with work related disability and does participating in the PGAP improve the persons readiness to return to work?

To answer these questions, we contacted 29 people who had been referred to Adaptive Workplace Solutions as a result of a work-related injury or condition. Of those contacted 20 provided consent to participate in the research and their results from the PGAP were gathered to analyse the effectiveness of the program. Each persons’ file was reviewed, and they were allocated a work readiness score at referral and upon completion of the program.

The results of the research project demonstrated that the PGAP was effective in reducing the identified psychosocial risk factors associated with prolonged absence from the workforce and increased work disability. This result was consistent with the international research on the PGAP. The other aim of the study was to assess the improvement’s in work readiness following participation in the PGAP. The data indicated that 75% of people who had participated in the PGAP had an improvement in return to work readiness. The other interesting finding was that people who experienced improvements in two or more of the psychosocial risk factors were more likely to also experience improved return to work readiness scores. In summary, the results support the inclusion of the PGAP in work injury rehabilitation where people are at risk of experiencing psychosocial risk factors associated with return to work.

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