Jobbfast is a research outpatient clinic for traumas and psychosocial strains in working life, established in the autumn of 2011. Its services are included in the outpatient activities of the Department of Occupational Medicine, Haukeland University Hospital. The outpatient clinic receives patients from the entire country, on referral from doctors or psychologists in the first- or second-tier services. Those who can be referred include patients with health problems related to conflicts, bullying, whistleblowing and sexual harassment in the workplace. The patients will not necessarily be on sick leave, although the referring professional is required to follow up the patient after his or her discharge from Jobbfast.
Over a period of three days, the patient undergoes a programme of examination, therapy and rehabilitation, provided by a team that includes doctors, a psychologist, a physiotherapist and an occupational consultant. Emphasis is given to letting the patient tell his/her story, and an investigation of the patient’s mental health is undertaken, as are a psychomotor assessment by a physiotherapist and a traditional occupational-medical examination. Finally, a thorough educational review is provided, focusing partly on the specific workplace strain that served as basis for the referral and partly on general topics related to bullying and conflicts.
The review takes the character of a dialogue with the patient – the various topics are addressed in a conversational format rather than as traditional teaching. On the third day, we summarise findings and evaluations in consultation with the patient and discuss further interventions, including those proposed by the occupational consultant with regard to adaptation of the job situation. The case is also discussed with an organisational psychologist. In a telephone conference held four weeks later the main points of the examination/programme are reviewed, with emphasis on the road ahead.
The planning stage of Jobbfast has been undertaken in close cooperation with representatives of the trade unions and the employers’ organisations, various occupational health services and research institutions at the University of Bergen, Bergen Municipality and the Division of Mental Health, Haukeland University Hospital. The Bergen Bullying Research Group at the University of Bergen has accumulated long-standing experience in research on bullying and the working environment (1, 4, 6, 7) and contributes its competence on organisational psychology to the examination. With its comprehensive research experience and wide-ranging international networks, this research group has contributed greatly to the development of the service.