Course leader presentation: Angelique de Rijk
Work Disability Prevention – Sociopolitical challenges for practice and research, 11th – 15th of June, 2018, Kurhotel Skodsborg, Skodsborg, Denmark
1. What is your background? A short presentation of yourself.
After studying medicine for two years, a master in Work and Organizational Psychology and a PhD in Health Psychology, I climbed the ladder of an academic career in Work and Health at Maastricht University. I really appreciate the mix of teaching and doing research. As director of studies and course co-ordinator, I developed multidisciplinary bachelor and master programmes and courses in Work & Health within Health Sciences and Medicine. In 2016 I received, together with my team, the Education Prize of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life for developing a successful bachelor course. In all my work, theoretical models play an important role. Theory supports making a more systematic analysis of the research data or the situation in practice. My research focuses on re-integration into work and the labor participation of those with long-term sickness absence and chronic health conditions. I study employees with cardiac conditions and with cancer in particular. In my research I contribute to four areas: the social context of the person in working age; how health care and occupational health can be best bridged to serve the needs of patients in working age; the employer perspective on supporting their workers’ to continue their working life after a medical diagnosis; international differences in policies for people in working age who face health problems.
2. Why do you think that work disability prevention (sociopolitical challenges for practice and research) is an important and current issue to discuss in 2018?
Work is a very important aspect of people’s lives and high labor participation is pivotal for the prosperity of societies. Most people spend more than half of their life in paid work. There is increasing knowledge on how paid work can improve health, and how the labor participation of those with health problems can be supported. This knowledge prevents people to become fully work disabled and supports improving their health and wellbeing. However, work disability prevention is often complex, including micro, meso and macro level factors. Therefore, we need to train professionals to gain the knowledge, to develop new knowledge with research and to apply this knowledge.
3. Your greetings to the participants of the course.
I look forward to meeting again those participants who participated before. I hope to meet new participants as well in Copenhagen. I hope all experience the “WDP experience” during the course week when knowledge and expertise from the course leaders are mixed with experiences and new ideas from the participants. When theory meets practice. When all of us share our ambition to improve wellbeing during working life. I am sure we will satisfy your appetite for gaining more knowledge on WDP to become a better WDP professional, be it in practice or in research!