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Table 1 Goals and key points for group sessions of the self-management intervention

From: Manage at work: a randomized, controlled trial of a self-management group intervention to overcome workplace challenges associated with chronic physical health conditions

  Title Session goals Key points
Session I Self-management principles for coping with chronic pain and fatigue Provide introductions; establish rapport; provide a scientific and philosophical rationale; differentiate self-management from medical management; recognize workplace challenges and constraints; set the general scope and agenda for future sessions • Chronic physical health conditions are common.
• Coping at work can require special skills.
• Thoughts, emotions, and behavior play a part.
• You are your own best expert and advocate.
• Coaching and social support can help.
• Mindfulness and problem solving can help.
Session II Job modification, pacing, and problem solving Understand problematic job tasks; apply principles of mindfulness to workplace activity and discomfort; identify potential sources of leeway and flexibility; brainstorm possible opportunities for modifying work organization and work style; apply 6-step problem solving process. • Some job tasks are more difficult than others.
• Some job tasks may be adjustable.
• Leeway and flexibility can be an advantage.
• Manage your work to the extent possible.
• Identify functional challenges and constraints.
• Apply systematic problem solving steps.
Session III Communicating about health problems at work Explore different reasons for communicating with others at work about pain and fatigue; identify effective communication strategies; discuss personal choices for disclosure, recognize unique aspects of workplace rules and working roles that affect communication. • Pain and fatigue can interfere with communication.
• A need may arise to discuss health at work.
• Make disclosure decisions judiciously.
• Communicating about pain can impact others.
• Understand reasons and context for talking about pain.
• When needed, direct assertive communication is best.
Session IV Keeping a positive outlook and adopting realistic goals Acknowledge the negative effect of pain and fatigue on emotions; recognize negative automatic thoughts about health and work; identify ways to accept more moderate and rational expectations about work performance; suggest coping strategies for dealing with temporary setbacks and discouragement. • Pain and fatigue can trigger negative automatic thoughts
• Negative self-talk can impair your job performance.
• Negative self-talk can make your symptoms worse.
• Accepting more realistic job expectations can help.
• Be mindful of pain, not overwhelmed by pain.
• Have a plan for coping with stress & temporary setbacks.
Session V Putting it all together: Taking care of yourself at work Integrate principles of workplace coping, problem solving, job task alteration, and workplace communication through hypothetical case scenarios; foster individual goal setting; summary and closure. • Health-related challenges are complex.
• Problem solving can improve work style and pacing.
• Communicating effectively can improve support at work
• Keeping a positive, rationale attitude is critical.
    • Be mindful of symptoms while working.