Think positive thoughts

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|CHRR, Guide to Healthy Workplace|Last Updated: 05/28/2002

It turns out that Dale Carnegie was right about the power of positive thinking. The expectations of injured workers does influence their outcomes, according to research led by Donald Cole of the Institute for Work and Health (IWH) and the University of Toronto, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

More than 1,500 workers with soft-tissue injuries to the back or limbs who filed lost-time claims with the Ontario Workers’ Compensation Board, which subsequently became the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), were interviewed by telephone within three weeks of their injuries, and asked about their expectations for recovery.

Followup contacts during the year after the injury asked the workers about their perceptions of their pain, health-related quality of life and functional status specific to the injured area, and the data was adjusted for previous injuries involving compensation.