Conceptual Approaches to Occupational Health and Wellness: An Overview

  • Robert J. GatchelEmail author
  • Nancy D. Kishino
Part of the Handbooks in Health, Work, and Disability book series (SHHDW)


As will be discussed in this chapter, there is an ever-growing body of clinical research evidence related to the field of occupational health and wellness. Part of this is due to the fact that we are in the midst of rapid global economic growth, with the attendant complex international and financial systems that produce an array of potentially significant problems, such as environmental and occupational hazards/diseases, worker safety and compensation issues, as well as psychosocial stress. The increase in clinical research in these areas has also produced numerous conceptual models/approaches to try to account for phenomena such as stress–illness relationships, individual differences in resiliency and productivity, and cross-cultural factors that affect occupational health and wellness. We will introduce the reader to some of these models in this chapter. Before doing so, a brief historical overview of events that have led to the development of this ever-expanding field will be provided.


Occupational Health Sympathetic Nervous System Coronary Heart Disease Risk Chronic Pain Patient Occupational Injury 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, G. B. J. (1991). Impairment evaluation issues and the disability system. In T. G. Mayer, V. Mooney, & R. J. Gatchel (Eds.), Contemporary conservative care for painful spinal disorders. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger.Google Scholar
  3. Baum, A., Gatchel, R. J., & Krantz, D. S. (Eds.). (1997). An introduction to health psychology (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  4. Bellamy, R. (1997). Compensation neurosis: Financial reward for illness as nocebo. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 336, 94–106.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bryson, B. (2003). A short history of nearly everything. New York: Broadway Books.Google Scholar
  6. Butcher, J. N., Dahlstrom, W. G., Graham, J. R., Tellegen, A. M., & Kaemmer, B. (1989). MMPI-2: Manual for the administration and scoring. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  7. Cannon, W. B. (1939). The wisdom of the body. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  8. Cartmill, C., Soklaridis, S., & David Cassidy, J. (2011). Transdisciplinary teamwork: the experience of clinicians at a functional restoration program. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 21(1), 1–8.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cohen, S., & Rodriguez, M. S. (1995). Pathways linking affective disturbances and physical disorders. Health Psychology, 14, 371–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Conroy, M. A., & Kwartner, P. P. (2006). Malingering. Applied Psychology in Criminal Justice, 2(3), 29–51.Google Scholar
  11. Dersh, J., Gatchel, R. J., & Kishino, N. (2005). The role of tertiary gain in pain disability. Practical Pain Management, 5, 13–28.Google Scholar
  12. Dersh, J., Polatin, P., Leeman, G., & Gatchel, R. J. (2009). Secondary gains and losses in the medicolegal setting. In I. Z. Schultz & R. J. Gatchel (Eds.), Handbook of complex occupational disability claims: early risk identification, intervention and prevention. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  13. Dickerson, S. S., & Kemeny, M. E. (2004). Adult stressors and cortisol responses: A theoretical integration and synthesis of laboratory research. Psychological Bulletin, 130, 355–391.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dubos, R. (1978). Health and creative adaptation. Human Nature, 1, 82.Google Scholar
  15. Dyer, J. A. (2003). Multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary educational models and nursing education. Nursing Education Perspectives, 24(4), 186–188.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Ellingson, L. (2002). Communication, collaboration, and team work among health care professionals. Community Research Trends, 21(3), 1–43.Google Scholar
  17. Engel, G. L. (1977). The need for a new medical model: A challenge for biomedicine. Science, 196(4286), 129–136.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Engels, F. (1845). The condition of the working class in England. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  19. Finneson, B. (1976). Modulating effect of secondary gain on the low back syndrome. Advances in Pain Research and Therapy, 1, 949–952.Google Scholar
  20. Fishbain, D. A. (1994). Secondary gain concept: Definition problems and its abuse in medical practice. APS Journal, 3(4), 264–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fishbain, D. (1999). The association of chronic pain and suicide. Seminars in Clinical Neuropsychiatry, 4, 221–227.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Fishbain, D. A., Cutler, R. B., Rosomoff, H. L., & Rosomoff, R. S. (1999). Validity of self-reported drug use in chronic pain patients. Clinical Journal of Pain, 15(3), 184–191.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Fishbain, D. A., Rosomoff, H. L., Cutler, R. B., & Rosomoff, R. S. (1995). Secondary gain concept: A review of the scientific evidence. Clinical Journal of Pain, 11(1), 6–21.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Freud, S. (1917). Introductory lectures on psychoanalysis. London: Hogarth Press (1959).Google Scholar
  25. Gatchel, R. J. (2004). Psychosocial factors that can influence the self-assessment of function. Journal of Occupation Rehabilitation, 14(3), 197–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gatchel, R. J. (2005). Clinical essentials of pain management. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gatchel, R. J., & Baum, A. (2009). Biobehavioral mediators of stress and quality of life in occupational settings. In A. M. Rossi, J. C. Quick, & P. Perrewé (Eds.), Stress and quality of working life: The positive and the negative. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.Google Scholar
  28. Gatchel, R. J., & Mayer, T. G. (1988). Functional restoration for spinal disorders: The sports medicine approach. Malvern, PA: Lea & Febiger.Google Scholar
  29. Gatchel, R. J., & Okifuji, A. (2006). Evidence-based scientific data documenting the treatment- and cost-effectiveness of comprehensive pain programs for chronic nonmalignant pain. Journal of Pain, 7(11), 779–793.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Greene, R. L. (1997). Assessment of malingering and defensiveness by multiscale personality inventories. In R. Rogers (Ed.), Clinical assessment of malingering and deception (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  31. Grunberg, N. E. (1988). Behavioral factors in preventive medicine and health promotion. In W. Gordon, A. Herd, & A. Baum (Eds.), Perspectives on behavioral medicine (Vol. 3). New York: Academic.Google Scholar
  32. Hadler, N. (1996). If you have to prove you are ill, you can’t get well: The object lesson of fibromyalgia. Spine, 20, 2397–2400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Harder, G., Veilleux, M., & Suissa, S. (1998). The effect of socio-demographic and crash-related factors on the prognosis of whiplash. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 51, 377–384.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hazard, R. G., Fenwick, J. W., Kalisch, S. M., Redmond, J., Reeves, V., Reid, S., & Frymoyer, J. (1989). Functional restoration with behavioral support. A one-year prospective study of patients with chronic low-back pain. Spine, 14(2), 157–161.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Howard, K. J., Kishino, N. D., Johnston, V. J., Worzer, W. E., & Gatchel, R. J. (2010). Malingering and pain: is this a major problem in the medicolegal setting? Psychological Injury and Law, 3, 203–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Karasek, R. A., & Theorell, T. G. (1990). Healthy work. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  37. Karasek, R. A., Theorell, T. G., Schwartz, J., Schnall, P., Pieper, C. F., & Michela, J. L. (1988). Job characteristics in relation to the prevalence of myocardial infarction in the US Health Examination Survey (HES) and the Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (HANES). American Journal of Public Health, 78(8), 910–918.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Klein, J. T. (2008). Evaluation of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research: a literature review. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 35(2, Supplement 1), S116–S123. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2008.05.010.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Margoshes, B. G., & Webster, B. S. (2000). Why do occupational injuries have different health outcomes? In T. G. Mayer, R. J. Gatchel, & P. B. Polatin (Eds.), Occupational musculoskeletal disorders. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkinson.Google Scholar
  40. Marx, K. (1867). Das Kapital. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Matarazzo, J. D. (1984). Behavioral immunogens and pathogens in health and illness. In B. L. Hammonds & C. J. Scheirer (Eds.), Psychology and health: The master lecture series (Vol. 3). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  42. Mayer, T. G., Gatchel, R. J., Kishino, N., Keeley, J., Capra, P., Mayer, H., Barnett, J., & Mooney, V. (1985). Objective assessment of spine function following industrial injury: a prospective study with comparison group and one-year follow-up. Spine, 10, 482–493.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Mayer, T. G., Gatchel, R. J., Mayer, H., Kishino, N., Keeley, J., & Mooney, V. (1987a). A prospective two-year study of functional restoration in industrial low back injury. JAMA, 258, 1181–1182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Mayer, T. G., Gatchel, R. J., Mayer, H., Kishino, N. D., Keeley, J., & Mooney, V. A. (1987b). Prospective two year study of functional restoration in industrial low back injury. JAMA, 258(13), 1763–1767.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. McIntosh, G., Melles, T., & Hall, H. (1995). Guidelines for the identification of barriers to rehabilitation of back injuries. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 5(3), 195–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Mittenberg, W., Patton, C., Canyock, E. M., & Condit, D. C. (2002). Base rates of malingering and symptom exaggeration. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 24, 1094–1102.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. National Business Group on Health. (2012). Performance in an era of uncertainty: 17th Annual Towers Watson/National Business Group on Health Employer Survey on Purchasing Value in Health Care. Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  48. Peto, R., Boreham, J., Lopez, A. D., Thun, M., & Heath, C. (1992). Mortality from tobacco in developed countries: indirect estimation from national vital statistics. The Lancet, 339(8804), 1268–1278. doi: 10.1016/0140-6736(92)91600-D.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Rainville, J., Sobel, J., Hartigan, C., & Wright, A. (1997). The effect of compensation involvement of the reporting of pain and disability by patients referred for rehabilitation of chronic low back pain. Spine, 22(17), 2016–2024.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Ray, Q. (2004). How the mind hurts and heals the body. American Psychologist, 59, 29–40.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Robinson, J. P., Rondinelli, R. D., Scheer, S. J., & Weinstein, S. M. (1997). Industrial rehabilitation medicine. 1. Why is industrial rehabilitation medicine unique? Archives of Physical medicine and Rehabilitation, 78(suppl), S3–S9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Rogers, R. (1997). Clinical assessment of malingering and deception (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  53. Rogers, R., Bagby, R. M., & Dickens, S. E. (1992). Structured interview of reported symptoms: Professional manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.Google Scholar
  54. Rogers, R., Harrell, E., & Liff, C. (1993). Feigning neuropsychological impairment: A clinical review of methodological and clinical considerations. Clinical Psychology Review, 13, 255–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Schnall, P. L., Pleper, C., Schwartz, J. E., Karasek, R. A., Schlussel, Y., Devereux, R. B., Warren, K., & Pickering, T. G. (1990). The relationship between “job strain,” workplace diastolic blood pressure, and left ventricular mass index. JAMA, 263(14), 1929–1935.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Schrader, H., Bovim, G., Sand, T., Obelieniene, D., Siurkiene, D., Mickevicience, D., & Miseviciene, I. (1996). Natural evolution of late whiplash syndrome outside the medicolegal context. Lancet, 347, 1207–1211.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Sinclair, L. B., Lingard, L. A., & Mohabeer, R. N. (2009). What’s so great about rehabilitation teams? An ethnographic study of interprofessional collaboration in a rehabilitation unit. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 90(7), 1196–1201. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2009.01.021.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Sumanti, M., Brauer Boone, K., Savodnik, I., & Gorsuch, R. (2006). Noncredible psychiatric and cognitive symptoms in a workers’ compensation “stress” claim sample. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 20, 754–765.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Surgeon General. (1979). Smoking and health (DHEW Publication No. [PHS] 79-50066). Washington, DC: GPO.Google Scholar
  60. Terrill, A. L., Garofalo, J. P., Soliday, E., & Craft, R. (2012). Multiple roles and stress burden in women: a conceptual model of heart disease risk. Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research, 17, 4–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Turk, D. C., & Monarch, E. S. (2002). Biopsychosocial perspective on chronic pain. In D. C. Turk & R. J. Gatchel (Eds.), Psychological approaches to pain management: a practitioner’s handbook (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  62. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (1990). Healthy people 2000: National health promotion and disease preventions objectives (DHHS Publication No. PHS 91-50212). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  63. U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. (1979). Healthy people: Surgeon General’s report on health promotion and disease prevention (DHEW Publication No. 79-55071). Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  64. Worzer, W. E., Kishino, N. D., & Gatchel, R. J. (2009). Primary, secondary and tertiary losses in chronic pain patients. Psychological Injury and Law, 2, 215–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyThe University of Texas at ArlingtonArlingtonUSA
  2. 2.West Coast Spine Restoration CenterRiversideUSA

Personalised recommendations