2016-02-01 12:00 - Messages

Lag Times in Reporting Injuries, Receiving Medical Care, and Missing Work

Associations With the Length of Work Disability in Occupational Back Injuries
Objective: The aim of this study is to examine the associations between lag times following occupational low back injury and the length of work disability.
Methods: In a retrospective cohort study using workers' compensation claims, random effects Tobit models were used to explore how disability length relates to three lag times: the number of days from the date of injury to reporting the injury, the number of days from the date of injury to medical care, and the number of days from the date of injury to initiating work disability.
Results: In general, shorter lag times for each of the different lags were related to shorter lengths of disability.
Conclusions: Decreasing the length of the lag times in reporting injuries, receiving medical care, and missing work may help to decrease the length of work disability for workers after low back injury.

Source: Besen, Elyssa; Harrell, Mason; Pransky, Glenn. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: January 2016, Volume 58, Issue 1, p. 53-60.

Workplace social capital and risk of long-term sickness absence

Are associations modified by occupational grade?
BACKGROUND: Workplace social capital (WSC) is an emerging topic among both work environment professionals and researchers. We examined (i) whether high WSC protected against risk of long-term sickness absence (LTSA) in a random sample of the Danish workforce during a 1-year follow-up and (ii) whether the association of WSC with sickness absence was modified by occupational grade. METHODS: We measured WSC by self-report in a cohort of 3075 employees and linked responses to a national register of sickness absence. We calculated hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of onset of LTSA (>/=21 days), adjusted for covariates. We stratified analyses by occupational grade and examined if there was an interaction effect of WSC and occupational grade. RESULTS: A one standard deviation higher WSC score predicted a reduced risk of sickness absence after adjustment for sociodemographic variables, prevalent health problems and health behaviours (HR = 0.85, 95% CI = 0.74-0.99). The HR was attenuated and lost statistical significance after further adjustment for occupational grade (HR = 0.90, 95% CI = 0.78-1.04). When stratified by occupational grade, high WSC predicted a decreased risk of sickness absence among higher grade workers (HR = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.44-0.84) but not among lower grade workers (HR = 0.98, 95% CI = 0.83-1.15). The interaction effect of WSC and occupational grade was statistically significant (HR = 0.97, 95% CI = 0.95-0.99). CONCLUSION: High WSC might reduce risk of LTSA. However, the protective effect appears to be limited to workers of higher occupational grade.

Source: Rugulies R, Hasle P, Pejtersen JH, et al. European Journal of Public Health, 2016.

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