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Airing Pain 8: Work and Benefits

Is work good for us? We dis­cuss work­ing with chron­ic pain and the ben­e­fits system

In the wake of the government’s intro­duc­tion of the Employ­ment and Sup­port Allowance (ESA) which will see all peo­ple already on inca­pac­i­ty ben­e­fits reassessed for their abil­i­ty to work by 2014, Air­ing Pain dis­cuss­es ben­e­fit reforms as well as how work affects those liv­ing in pain and how they can stay in, or get back into, work.

Chris Main, Pro­fes­sor of Clin­i­cal Psy­chol­o­gy at Keele Uni­ver­si­ty, and Elaine Heaver of the Bath Cen­tre for Pain Research take us through the evi­dence show­ing the health ben­e­fits from being in work and explain how GPs now give ‘fit notes’ as well as sick notes. Paul Wat­son gives some advice on how to stay in work and talk to your employ­er and Shilpa Patel talks about the bar­ri­ers faced by unem­ployed peo­ple with chron­ic pain.

Issues cov­ered in this pro­gramme include: Work, ben­e­fits, pol­i­cy, wel­fare reform, patient con­cerns, phased return to work, work­place adap­ta­tions, stig­ma, mis­con­cep­tions, acces­si­bil­i­ty, insom­nia, dis­cussing pain, bar­ri­ers to the work­place and train­ing schemes.


  • Elaine Heaver, Researcher, Bath Cen­tre for Pain Research
  • Pro­fes­sor Chris Main, Pro­fes­sor of Clin­i­cal Psy­chol­o­gy, Keele University
  • Dr Shilpa Patel, Research Fel­low, Uni­ver­si­ty of Warwick
  • Pro­fes­sor Paul Wat­son, Senior Lec­tur­er in Pain Man­age­ment and Reha­bil­i­ta­tion, Uni­ver­si­ty of Leicester.


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