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Is disability underreported following work injury?
Evanoff B; Abedin S; Grayson D; Dale AM; Wolf L; Bohr P
J Occup Rehabil 2002 Sep; 12(3):139-150
Existing national data may underreport the full burden of occupational injuries and illnesses. This study sought to provide more complete reporting and to assess disability that persisted following return to work. Workers (n = 205) with a musculoskeletal injury resulting in 5 or more days of lost time or restricted duty were recruited from three employers. Data on work status and functional limitations were derived from multiple sources including administrative records, medical records, and patient interviews at baseline and 6 months. Results indicate that many workers reported continuing difficulties functioning at work following return to full duty. Measures of health-related quality of life improved over 6 months, but bodily pain and physical functioning scores remained lower than expected based on national averages. Sixteen percent of workers were reinjured within a year following initial injury. Following return to work, many workers experienced reinjury or reported persistent limitations in function 6 months following injury. Based on study findings the conclusion is drawn that OSHA logs may provide accurate measures of initial episodes of time loss from work but may under-represent the full magnitude of lost time following work injury.
Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Ergonomics; Workplace-studies; Injuries; Disabled-workers; Statistical-analysis; Author Keywords: disability; occupational injuries; musculoskeletal disorders; functional status; return to work
Division of General Medical Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine, Campus Box 8005, 660 South Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110
Issue of Publication
Disease and Injury: Musculoskeletal Disorders of the Upper Extremities
Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri
Page last reviewed: August 6, 2021Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division