Return to work following road accidents: Factors associated with late work resumption

Objective: To analyse factors associated with late return to work in road accident victims. Materials and methods: The ESPARR cohort comprises road accident victims monitored over time from initiation of hospital care. A total of 608 ESPARR cohort subjects were working at the time of their accident and answered questionnaires at 6 months and/or 1 year. For each level of overall severity of injury (Maximum – Abbreviated Injury Scale (M-AIS) 1, 2, 3 and 4–5), a time-off-work threshold was defined, beyond which the subject was deemed to be a late returner; 179 subjects were considered to be late in returning to work, while 402 showed a normal pattern of return. Logistic regression identified factors associated with late return. Results: Type of journey, overall injury severity and intention to press charges emerged as factors predictive of late return to work on the basis of the data collected at inclusion alone. After adjustment, pain (odds ratio (OR): 2.6; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.0–6.7) and physical sequelae (OR: 3.8; 95% CI 1.7–8.3) at 6 months and the fact of pressing charges (OR: 2.6; 95% CI 1.2–5.5) remained significantly linked with late return to work. Conclusion: Impaired health status at 6 months after the initial accident (in the form of persistent pain and physical sequelae) is a determining factor delaying return to work following a road traffic accident.


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