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Medical care surrounding work-related back injury claims among Washington State Union Carpenters, 1989-2003.

Authors
Kucera-KL; Lipscomb-HJ; Silverstein-B
Source
Work 2011 Jul; 39(3):321-330
NIOSHTIC No.
20039892
Abstract
Objective: We describe medical care received through workers' compensation (WC) and union-provided insurance surrounding work-related back injuries and examine relationships between care provided and time off work among a large cohort of carpenters. Methods and Participants: Union records identified a cohort of 20,642 carpenters working in Washington State from 1989-2003 and their private health insurance claims. These data were linked to workers' compensation files from this state-run program including records of medical care. Results: Over 74,000 WC medical encounters resulted from 2959 work-related back injuries. Eleven percent received private care for musculoskeletal back pain within 90 days of work-related injury; this proportion increased with increasing lost days. Delay to physical therapy was more prevalent among those out of work longest. The proportion of claimants with care from both systems and from private utilization only increased after the first 90 days and, for the subset with at least one paid lost work day, after return to work. Conclusions: Examination of medical care through both systems versus solely in workers' compensation provides a more complete understanding of back injury care while also demonstrating complexity. Differences in outcomes based upon treatment shortly after injury are worthy of further exploration.
Keywords
Accident-statistics; Back-injuries; Biomechanics; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Ergonomics; Health-care; Health-services; Injuries; Medical-care; Medical-treatment; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Occupational-hazards; Posture; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Statistical-analysis; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Worker-health; Work-operations; Work-performance; Workplace-monitoring; Workplace-studies; Author Keywords: Private insurance; workers compensation; return to work; delays to care
Contact
Kristen L Kucera, PhD, ATC, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Duke University, 2200 W Main St, Suite 400, Durham, NC 27705
CODEN
WORKFK
Publication Date
20110701
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
kristen.kucera@duke.edu
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2011
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-008007; B11232011
Issue of Publication
3
ISSN
1051-9815
Priority Area
Disease and Injury: Musculoskeletal Disorders of the Upper Extremities
Source Name
Work
State
NC; WA
Performing Organization
Duke University
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