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Title: Return to work after traumatic injury: increased work-related disability in injured persons receiving financial compensation is mediated by perceived injustice.
Epworth Authors: Ponsford, Jennie
Other Authors: Giummarra, Melita
Cameron, Peter
Ioannou, Liane
Gibson, Stephen
Jennings, Paul
Georgiou-Karistianis, Nellie
Keywords: Traumatic Injury
Trauma Severity
Return to Work
Perceived Injustice
Psychological Distress
Victorian Orthopaedic Trauma Outcomes Registry
Victorian State Trauma Registry
Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist
Injustice Experience Questionnaire
Monash-Epworth Rehabilitation Research Centre, Epworth Hospital
Issue Date: May-2016
Publisher: Springer
Citation: J Occup Rehabil. 2016 May 5
Abstract: Purpose: Traumatic injury is a leading cause of work disability. Receiving compensation post-injury has been consistently found to be associated with poorer return to work. This study investigated whether the relationship between receiving compensation and return to work was associated with elevated symptoms of psychological distress (i.e., anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder) and perceived injustice. Methods: Injured persons, who were employed at the time of injury (n = 364), were recruited from the Victorian State Trauma Registry, and Victorian Orthopaedic Trauma Outcomes Registry. Participants completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist, Injustice Experience Questionnaire, and appraisals of pain and work status 12-months following traumatic injury. Results: Greater financial worry and indicators of actual/perceived injustice (e.g., consulting a lawyer, attributing fault to another, perceived injustice, sustaining compensable injury), trauma severity (e.g., days in hospital and intensive care, discharge to rehabilitation), and distress symptoms (i.e., anxiety, depression, PTSD) led to a twofold to sevenfold increase in the risk of failing to return to work. Anxiety, post-traumatic stress and perceived injustice were elevated following compensable injury compared with non-compensable injury. Perceived injustice uniquely mediated the association between compensation and return to work after adjusting for age at injury, trauma severity (length of hospital, admission to intensive, and discharge location) and pain severity. Conclusions: Given that perceived injustice is associated with poor return to work after compensable injury, we recommend greater attention be given to appropriately addressing psychological distress and perceived injustice in injured workers to facilitate a smoother transition of return to work.
DOI: 10.​1007/​s10926-016-9642-5
PubMed URL:
ISSN: 1053-0487
Journal Title: Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Type: Journal Article
Affiliated Organisations: School of Psychological Sciences and Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences, Monash University, Clayton, VIC, Australia
Caulfield Pain Management and Research Centre, Caulfield Hospital, Caulfield, VIC, Australia
School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, The Alfred Centre, 99 Commercial Road, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Emergency Department, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar
National Ageing Research Institute, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Department of Community Emergency Health and Paramedic Practice, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
College of Health and Biomedicine, Victoria University, Footscray, VIC, Australia
Type of Clinical Study or Trial: Retrospective studies
Appears in Collections:Mental Health

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