Health, Work and Wellbeing Network

Bringing together people interested in health, work and wellbeing research

Dr. Debbie Cohen
Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research
Cardiff University
Tele: 02920 870227

Funder: The Welsh Assembly Government
Date: GP website completed March 2008

Aims: This is one of a series of applied research projects following on from Dr Cohen‘s PhD in which she developed a tool for measuring professional attitudes. The aim of this project is to support GPs and other health practitioners to provide advice about work and health to patients by developing a virtual occupational health resource known as the Healthy Working Wales (HWW) website.

Objective: to examine GPs and other health professional attitudes to website learning to inform the development of an IT platform offering advice, training and a forum for discussions about work and health for GPs and eventually other users. The website has been designed so that different users such as occupational health (OH) professionals and employers may access the site in the future. GPs will have access to three main centres:

1. ̳’Ask the OH Expert‘ Centre: provides prompt occupational health advice to GPs via email
2. A Quick Links Centre
3. A Learning Resource Centre: GPs will be able to access educational programmes such as ̳’Sick Note or Bust’ and the recently completed W2W programme that looks at issues related to the management of individuals in receipt of Incapacity Benefits.

Phase 1: Focus groups engaged with key representatives from both general practice and occupational health to understand the breadth and depth of services that the proposed website could offer. Focus groups included; representatives from the General Practitioner Committee (GPC) Wales, GPs from the Department of Primary Care and Public Health and senior occupational health physicians and nurses in Wales. These groups were facilitated by a member of the research team. Participants were asked to discuss any work related health issues they dealt with on a regular basis and what they thought of the concept behind the website.

Phase 2: Survey investigating attitudes to online learning amongst GPs and occupational health professionals in Wales. GPs recruited via their Local Health Board. OH professionals via the Workplace Health Specialist at the Welsh Assembly Government.

Questionnaire items were developed by the research team based on the results of phase 1. The majority of the questionnaire items were designed to capture quantitative data via questions based on scale and categorical responses. Further comments/ questions were included at the end to allow participants to expand on any question they felt necessary. Phase 3: information on existing website and electronic resources gathered under following headings: Name, URL, Purpose of the Resource, and Information about the Resource.

Outputs: Healthy Working Wales Website
Initially developed for GP use this is now extended for use by anybody interested in workplace health issues