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Duration of work disability after low back injury: a comparison of administrative and self-reported outcomes.

Authors
Dasinger-LK; Krause-N; Deegan-LJ; Brand-RJ; Rudolph-L
Source
Am J Ind Med 1999 Jun; 35(6):619-631
NIOSHTIC No.
20031728
Abstract
Background: Workers' compensation wage replacement data have recently been used to estimate time to return to work (RTW) and the number of work days lost after occupational injury. The degree to which indemnity-based measures reflect self-reported work disability has until now not been studied. Method: Kaplan-Meier curves of administrative and self-reported measures of duration of work disability were compared within a sample of 433 low back injury claimants followed up for 1 to 3.7 years. Results: Administrative measures consistently and significantly underestimated the duration of disability when compared to self-reported measures of RTW. The difference between the estimated mean number of work days lost for comparable administrative and self-reported measures ranged from 142 to 334 days. Conclusions: Number of work days lost after low back injury is substantially underestimated by measures based on the duration of wage replacement benefits. This calls into question the adequacy of indemnity benefits and underscores the need for disability prevention programs.
Keywords
Injuries; Back-injuries; Lost-work-days; Administration; Disabled-workers; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Data-processing; Injury-prevention; Survival-rate; Author Keywords: low back pain; workers' compensation; work disability; return-to-work; survival analysis
Contact
Niklas Krause, MD, PhD, MPH, School of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology, 140 Warren Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-7360.
CODEN
AJIMD8
Publication Date
19990601
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
nkrause@uclink4.berkeley.edu
Funding Amount
876198
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
1999
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-CCR-912148
ISSN
0271-3586
Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Health Services Research
Source Name
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
State
CA
Performing Organization
State of California, San Francisco, California
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