Factors associated with return-to-work and health outcomes among survivors of road crashes in Victoria
Article first published online: 8 APR 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2010 Public Health Association of Australia
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Volume 34, Issue 2, pages 153–159, April 2010
How to Cite
Fitzharris, M., Bowman, D. and Ludlow, K. (2010), Factors associated with return-to-work and health outcomes among survivors of road crashes in Victoria. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 34: 153–159. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2010.00500.x
- Issue published online: 8 APR 2010
- Article first published online: 8 APR 2010
- Submitted: May 2009 Revision requested: July 2009 Accepted: November 2009
- quality of life;
Objective: To explore the relationships between injury, disability, work role and return-to-work outcomes following admission to hospital as a consequence of injury sustained in a road crash.
Design and setting: Prospective cohort study of patients admitted to an adult trauma centre and two metropolitan teaching hospitals in Victoria, Australia. Participants were interviewed in hospital, 2.5 and eight months post-discharge.
Participants: Participants were 60 employed and healthy adults aged 18 to 59 years admitted to hospital in the period February 2004 to March 2005.
Results: Despite differences in health between the lower extremity fracture and non-fracture groups eight months post-crash the proportions having returned to work was approximately 90%. Of those returning to work, 44% did so in a different role. After adjustment for baseline parameters, lower extremity injuries were associated with a slower rate of return to work (HR: 0.31; 95%CI: 0.16–0.58) as was holding a manual occupation (HR: 0.16; 95%CI: 0.09–0.57). There were marked differences in physical health between and within the injury groups at both follow-up periods.
Conclusions: These results demonstrate that both injury type and severity and the nature of ones occupation have a considerable influence on the rate and pattern of return to work following injury. Further, persisting disability has a direct influence on the likelihood of returning to work. The implications of these findings and the types of data required to measure outcome post-injury are discussed.