The probability of recovery and return to work from work disability as a function of time Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • This paper describes a prospective longitudinal cohort study of musculoskeletal soft tissue pain impairment following a work related injury. It focuses on specific, univariate prognostic factors indicated in previous research studies that might affect the likelihood that injured workers will return to work or remain on work disability at any point in time. These factors include gender, age, return to work attempts and site of injury. Life table analysis was used to model the probability of work disability. The results showed that different disability and return to work patterns emerged for males and females. Males were more likely to return to work; however, females had a higher probability than males of remaining at work once they returned to work. Older workers had the highest probability of being off work any given number of days after injury; were less likely to return to work, and if they did, had a higher probability of becoming disabled again. Efforts to return early to work contributed to a decrease in overall work disability. Workers with low back injuries had a greater likelihood of recurrence compared to injuries at other body sites.

publication date

  • December 1994