Differences in Modified-Return-to-Work by Immigration Characteristics Among a Cohort of Workers in British Columbia, Canada
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Introduction To investigate differences in modified-return-to work (MRTW) within the first 30 days of a work-related, short-term disability injury by immigration characteristics. This question was part of a program of research investigating differences in work and health experiences among immigrant workers and explanations for longer work disability durations. Methods Workers' compensation claims, immigration records and medical registry data were linked to identify a sample of workers in British Columbia, Canada with a short-term disability claim for a work-related back strain, concussion, limb fracture or connective tissue injury occurring between 2009 and 2015. Multivariable logistic regressions, stratified by injury type, investigated the odds of MRTW, defined as at least one day within the first 30 days on claim, associated with immigration characteristics, defined as a Canadian-born worker versus a worker who immigrated via the economic, family member or refugee/other humanitarian classification. Results Immigrant workers who arrived to Canada as a family member or as a refugee/other immigrant had a reduced odds of MRTW within the first 30 days of work disability for a back strain, concussion and limb fracture, compared to Canadian-born workers. Differences in MRTW were not observed for immigrant workers who arrived to Canada via the economic classification, or for connective tissue injuries. Conclusion The persistent and consistent finding of reduced MRTW for the same injury for different immigration classifications highlights contexts (work, health, social, language) that disadvantage some immigrants upon arrival to Canada and that persist over time even after entry into the workforce, including barriers to MRTW.
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