Are you aware that you can learn to change your heart rate and breathing rate by how you think and feel? Biofeedback is a non-invasive tool which can be used to teach you how to have control over your bodies response to situations of stress, anxiety, anger or pressure. It involves the use of devices to record your breathing, heart rate, muscle tension, skin temperature and skin conductance. The primary aim of the feedback is self-regulation - by first seeing the physiological change and then training to control it. This control is then generalised across different situations and environments. For example, being able to maintain a calm and relaxed breathing rate, both in the treatment room and at a job interview.
Return to Work Assessment
These assessments are requested when staff have been on reduced hours or off work completely due to injury, illness or pain. Early assessment to identify any barriers to a safe return to work or return to full duties benefits both employer and employee and increases the likelihood of a successful return.
The Occupational Therapist can carry out a functional job description or workspace assessment which is then used to form a plan, in collaboration with the staff member and the organisations management.
Functional Job Description
This type of assessment is used to identify all functional aspects of a job, with respect to:
- Actual job tasks and processes necessary to carry out the role
- Loads carried, including hand loading
- Both static and dynamic postures required
- Cognitive processes and loads involved in the role
- Perceived work stress/critical work demands.
It can be the starting point for a return to work plan, where an employee has been off work due to injury or illness. The Occupational Therapist can then match the current level of functionality to the tasks required for the role, identifying any gaps where gradual improvement can be aimed for.