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Factors associated with working status among workers assessed at a specialized worker's compensation board psychological trauma program

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Abstract

Background

Psychological morbidity following trauma occurring in the workplace can impact return to work but few studies have investigated this.

Methods

This study was a secondary analysis of administrative data from a specialized workers' compensation board psychological trauma program in Toronto, Canada. Unadjusted and adjusted logistic regression analyses were used to examine factors associated with working status at the time of assessment for workers referred within 1 year of traumatic event.

Results

Having a disrupted marriage (OR = 3.06, 95% CI 1.14–8.20), sustaining a permanently impairing physical injury (OR = 2.76, 95% CI 1.01–7.55) and the presence of secondary psychiatric diagnoses (OR = 2.55, 95% CI 1.34–4.83) were significantly associated with not working at the time of assessment. When the analyses were subset to workers without permanently impairing physical injuries, only the presence of additional psychiatric diagnoses was significantly associated with not working (OR = 3.81, 95% CI 1.48–9.83).

Conclusions

Return to work after trauma can be a complicated and difficult to treat problem. Social supports, physical rehabilitation and treatment of complex mental health problems likely play a crucial role in improving outcomes. Am. J. Ind. Med. 54:552–559, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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