Guardian Exercise Rehabilitation and Gallagher Bassett (VIC) Celebrate PIEF Awards Nomination

Since 2008, The Personal Injury Education Foundation (PIEF) has hosted the Excellence in Personal Injury and Disability Management Awards to celebrate and showcase the outstanding achievements of our industry.

They are designed to:

  • Provide a benchmark for best practice within the industry;
  • Encourage the continual raising of standards, leading to a better experience for those impacted by personal injury / disability;
  • Reinforce the value of and inspire confidence in the personal injury and disability management industry;
  • Publicly recognise and reward excellence and to promote a platform of celebration for the industry

Guardian Exercise Rehabilitation and Gallagher Bassett (VIC) are excited to announce that they have been shortlisted as finalists in the Collaboration in Injury & Disability Management Award category at the 2021 PIEF Awards. Guardian Exercise Rehabilitation, in collaboration with Gallagher Basset, have recognised the need to provide holistic care under a biopsychosocial lens for individuals with a Silicosis diagnosis. The delivery of an innovative, Silicosis wellbeing service for individuals with a worker’s compensation claim aims to enhance wellbeing and quality of life, as well as respiratory health outcomes. Paul Cassar, Strategic Manager from Gallagher Bassett (VIC), says “In recent years there has been a resurgence in stone silicosis which has impacted a variety of occupations across a range of age groups.  In the absence of an effective clinical treatment for silicosis, Gallagher Bassett were keen to work with Guardian Exercise Rehabilitation to put forward an alternative option to build focus on what can be done to improve quality of life.”

Upon referral from Gallagher Basset, Guardian Exercise Rehabilitation facilitate an evidence-based, individually tailored and supported Physical Activity reintegration program with members who have a Silicosis diagnosis. The intention is to better engage and empower these customers with self-efficacious management of their general health, wellbeing and physical activity during their respiratory health-journeys and recoveries, as well as promoting engagement with wider relevant community supports.

“Guardian Exercise Rehabilitation and Gallagher Basset have taken an iterative approach to program development, applying learnings and enhancements within a continuous cycle of review and evolution. Constructive challenge ensures continual improvement with excellence as a pursuit rather than a destination.” – Paul Cassar, Gallagher Bassett

Gallagher Basset Case Managers are responsible for identifying suitable candidates for the program. Clients with a Silicosis diagnosis who are medically suitable will then be provided with information outlining the benefits of undertaking a tailored exercise and education program for their overall health and wellbeing. Clients are informed of current research that regular exercise has been shown to assist with psychological wellbeing, fatigue management and respiratory health markers. Paul Cassar says, “The health benefits of routine exercise on wellbeing are well documented. Silicosis is a chronic disease that has a dramatic impact on both physical and mental systems. Being able to provide a progressive, goal based approach that improves physical and psychological function helps to build wellbeing though positive psychology. It’s amazing how small wins can have a knock-on effect to other areas of a person’s life.”

Initial feedback received directly from customers has highlighted that the program is assisting in achieving the initial goals set and promoting a heightened level of overall health and wellbeing. Recent research highlights that an alarming 99% of individuals with Silicosis were suffering from anxiety related symptoms and 86% from depression. Guardian Exercise Rehabilitation and Gallagher Basset understand the benefit routine exercise can have on the management of mental illness and improvement in psychological wellbeing, and are collaboratively committed to driving change and improving outcomes for these individuals diagnosed with Silicosis. In fact, to quote one of our clients, “(the program) kept me busy and made me think less about my mental health concerns. I have reduced back pain and improved my lung capacity.”

To date, of the finalised customers, objective health outcome measures display an improvement in physical function, sleep quality and general health via the Rand SF36 general health survey and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Additionally, subjective feedback provided by the customers highlights an increase in independence and quality of life through the implementation of safe exercise education – with one customer stating “my lung capacity has improved – I believe through exercises. Great outcome. I still continue to do the exercises daily.”

Further to the goal of improved health and wellbeing, customers have highlighted that experiencing improvements in respiratory health and mental wellbeing has assisted in enhancing engagement and interest in return-to-work processes or retraining. This innovative program specifically achieves the goal of supporting members with a Silicosis diagnosis to undertake an evidence-based exercise program that reduces the functional impact of Silicosis and the psychological effects it can produce. Considering the nature and complexity of a Silicosis diagnosis, we are extremely pleased with these outcomes for an intervention and collaboration within its early days, and welcome the recognition from the PIEF Awards committee.

As one of our clients themselves have said, “(the program) kept me busy and made me think less about my mental health concerns. I have reduced back pain and improved my lung capacity.”

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