A descriptive study of a specialized worker's psychological trauma program

J. Hensel, A. Bender, J. Bacchiochi, M. Pelletier, Carolyn S Dewa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Psychological trauma in the workplace is gaining recognition as an important cause of workplace disability but little is known about the workers who are affected. The Psychological Trauma Program (PTP) in Toronto (Canada) is a specialized provincial worker's compensation board assessment program for workers with psychological sequelae of workplace trauma. Aims: To characterize workers presenting to the PTP in terms of demographic, occupational, traumatic exposure and diagnostic variables. Methods: A retrospective secondary analysis of all workers referred to the PTP for assessment within 1 year of traumatic event between 1999 and 2006. Results: Five hundred and thiry-one referred workers were included in the study. Most workers were workingage male (76%), married (65%) and labourers (43%). Nearly half were born outside Canada. Post-traumatic stress disorder was the primary diagnosis in 44%. Fifty-eight percent had one or more secondary diagnoses. For just over half of the workers, the traumatic event resulted in a permanent physical impairment. Conclusions: Specialist referral may be indicated for workers experiencing prolonged recovery following workplace trauma. Male workers and those with co-morbidities or permanent injuries may be more likely to require referral. Individualized treatment approaches are likely important; however, more research is needed to guide future interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)654-657
Number of pages4
JournalOccupational Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Psychological trauma
  • Workplace trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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