Publications from Members

  • C. Donald Williams & Greg Couser: Tips for Conducting Disability Evaluations. Psychiatric Times, May 2014, 50-54.
  • C. Donald Williams: Objective Psychiatric Assessment and Management of Chronic Disability Syndromes in Psychiatric Care of the Medical Patient 3rd Ed. Fogel BF and Greenberg D, Eds. 2014 --IN PRESS (New York) Oxford University Press. Psychiatrists play complex roles in the diagnosis and treatment of patients who present with acute or chronic disabilities that prevent or interfere with employment. A familiar role is that of evaluation and treatment. Another role is that of an independent medical examiner hired by a third party to provide an expert opinion. The opinion may be used by advocates or adjudicators to determine the nature and severity of the psychiatric disorder, if any, its causation, whether it is permanent or temporary, and how much compensation if any is due to the individual. The MMPI-2, MMPI-2-RF and other objective psychological tests can greatly assist the psychiatrist in the objective assessment of these persons, and can additionally be of value in monitoring treatment progress.
  • A.B.C.’s of Behavioral Forensics turns business fraud on its head, focusing less on the how of fraud, and more on the why, with a no-nonsense examination of fraud as a result of human behavior. Written by an author team imparting diverse yet specialized perspectives to the understanding of fraud in all its complexity, A.B.C.’s of Behavioral Forensics provides striking insights on the psychology of white-collar crime with practical tools to help you detect and prevent fraud. In this book, you’ll discover the behavioral red flags to look for in your workplace, and understand why leaders should care about organizational culture. Topics include the relevance of behavioral approaches; the fraud triangle and beyond; the bad apple, bad bushel, and bad crop (A.B.C.) theory; how the basics of human behavior tie into fraud; understanding the “balance sheet basics” of the mind; the mind of the predatory fraudster; when honesty reverses course—and stays there; helping senior executives stay on the right side of the line—“good ethics is good business"; developing psychological awareness and recognizing behavioral/integrity risks surrounding financial fraud suspicions
  • C. Donald Williams: Social Security Disability Insurance: General Practitioners and Consultative Examiners in Clinical Guide to Mental Disability Evaluations. Gold LH and Vanderpool D, Eds. 2013. (New York) Springer. When a mental health clinician’s patient applies for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits on the basis of psychiatric illness, the Social Security Administration (SSA) requests that the treating clinician provide specific clinical information relevant to that claim. If additional information is needed, the SSA may request a consultative examination (CE), which is similar to an independent medical examination (IME) in its structure, goals, and relationship with the evaluee. The SSA’s disability determination process, definition of disability, and criteria for determining disability are highly specific, statutorily defined, and unique to SSA. Most mental health clinicians do not receive training or instruction in SSA’s terms, definitions, qualification process, or documentation requirements. This chapter will review the definitions, process, and requirements associated with providing SSDI documentation. This chapter will also review the role of Consultative Examiners and the nature of CEs.
  • Ronald Schouten and James Silver: "Almost a Psychopath: Do I (or Does Someone I Know) Have a Problem with Manipulation and Lack of Empathy?" 2012: Hazelden, Center City, MINN. This book was favorably reviewed in the New York Times, June 25, 2012. An excerpt from the review: "Dr. Schouten and Mr. Silver have written a sophisticated self-help book aimed primarily at those victims — parents, spouses and co-workers — but also at those who might sense some of these traits in themselves. The authors include a detailed discussion of the thought processes behind a psychiatric evaluation and an overview of the still-tentative theories of causation."
  • C. Donald Williams: Disability and occupational assessment: objective diagnosis and quantitative impairment rating. Harvard Review of Psychiatry Nov-Dec 2010, Vol. 18, No. 6: 336–352. The abstract is available online; contact Dr. Williams for a reprint.
  • Ronald Schouten: Terrorism and the Behavioral Sciences. Harvard Review of Psychiatry Nov-Dec 2010, Vol. 18, No. 6: 369–378. The abstract is available online; contact Dr. Schouten for a reprint.
  • The April 2008 issue of Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine is titled "Special Issue: Depression in the Workplace." Two AOOP members contributed articles. If you would like a reprint, please contact Dr. Couser or Dr. Williams. You may contact the authors directly for reprints, or access reprints on the internet through your university library affiliation. "Challenges and Opportunities for Preventing Depression in the Workplace: A Review of the Evidence Supporting Workplace Factors and Interventions" by Gregory P. Couser MD MPH reviews the current state of preventive measures for workplace depression and suggests numerous avenues for improving individual, organizational, and societal outcomes through depression prevention. (Couser G. "Challenges and Opportunities for Preventing Depression in the Workplace: A Review of the Evidence Supporting Workplace Factors and Interventions." J Occup Environ Med. 2008:50:411-427). "Assessment of Occupational Impairment and Disability from Depression" by C. Donald Williams MD and Ron Schouten MD JD examines the relationship of impairment and disability in the occupational context, proposes strategies for indentifying the level of impairment present and assessing its impact on employment, discusses selection and titration of treatment to severity of the condition and patient characteristics, and recommends practices that minimize the occurrence and effects of role and boundary confusion. (Williams CD and Schouten R. "Assessment of Occupational Impairment and Disability from Depression." J Occup Environ Med. 2008;50:441-450)
  • The November 2007 Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine contains an article by Munce SE et al, "The Role of Depression and Chronic Pain Conditions in Absenteeism: Results from a National Epidemiologic Survey" (pp. 1206-1211) that we recommend for its substantial data base.
  • The November 2006 Psychiatric Annals was devoted to Occupational and Organizational Psychiatry. Jeffrey Kahn MD ("Organizational and Occupational Psychiatry: Overview and Examples"), Julia Reade MD ("Impaired Physicians: Role of the Occupational Psychiatrist"), Ron Schouten JD MD ("Workshop Violence: An Overview for Practicing Physicians"), and C Donald Williams MD CGP ("Psychiatric Disability Assessments") contributed individually. You may contact the authors for reprints, or access reprints on the internet through your university affiliation.

Bulletins of the AOOP

Technology-Induced Workplace Change
- Andrew Brown, M.D.

Technology Remakes Work and Worker

By changing the way work is done, technology changes the worker. Workers not infrequently respond catastrophically to the introduction of new technology. Affected workers frequently develop anxiety states, depressive symptoms, and conversion syndromes.  Job loss precipitated by technologically induced workplace change can emerge in two ways: as a result of planned replacement of human work with automated work or as a result of the workers psychological response to automation.  

Job Elimination: Planned Replacement of Human Work with Automated Machines and Processes

Job elimination, frequently euphemized as “restructuring”, is a common impact of technological innovation and is attributable to conscious planning on the part of employers.  When technology is  introduced into the workplace employees are not expected to learn how to use new technology but are instead expected to be replaced by it. Technologically-driven unemployment, like unemployment in general, tends to undermine the mental health of those affected by it.

Adverse Reactions to Technologically Induced Workplace Change  

Job loss can impact employees who retain their jobs after the introduction of a labor saving device. The key point to bear in mind when contemplating any technologically induced change in the work process is that the introduction of the technology doesn’t just provide a substitute for some isolated component of a job. It not infrequently alters the character of the jobs that are left for the humans to perform, and impacts the roles, attitudes, and skills of the people who take part in it.

[For the whole bulletin, please click below]

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Work Should Be Rewarded: On the Origins and Functions of an Innate Moral Principle
-Andrew Brown, M.D.

Morality does not come primarily from reasoning: it arises rather from some combination of innateness and social learning. (1) While the significance of social learning explains why behaviors that are considered “immoral” or “moral” vary enormously by culture, the significance of innateness is manifest in the presence of certain moral precepts that, in contrast, seem universal, and, as such, do not seem subject to the particular vagaries of the culture within which one finds oneself. (2) The relative universality of certain specific moral precepts suggests that there are some evolved intuitions that arise in all of us as a result of a genetically transmitted endowment that are to a significant extent immutable, i.e., that there is a moral endowment that is to a large extent universally inherited and that is to this extent not subject to substantial variation between specific ethnic or cultural groups. The “Work Ethic” - defined here as the precept that Work Should be Rewarded – is one such precept. Regardless of profound and pervasive disagreement among members of disparate cultural groups with regard to whether specific actions would or would not constitute moral behavior, individuals in all cultures assent to the proposition that Work Should be Rewarded. (3)

[For the whole bulletin, please click below]

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