The impact of psychological symptoms on return to work in workers after occupational injury

Kuan Han Lin, Nai Wen Guo, Shu Chu Shiao, Shih Cheng Liao, Pei Yi Hu, Jin Huei Hsu, Yaw Huei Hwang, Yue Leon Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction This study aimed to investigate the impact of psychological symptoms on return to work (RTW) in workers after occupational injuries. Methods Our study candidates were injured workers who were hospitalized for 3 days or longer and received hospitalization benefits from the Labor Insurance. A self-reported questionnaire including Brief Symptom Rating Scale (BSRS-50) and RTW was sent to workers at 12 weeks after injury. At 1 year, all participants were contacted again to determine whether or not they had RTW. Results A total of 2001 workers completed the questionnaire (response rate 45.5 %) at 12 weeks after injury, among them, 1,149 had returned to work. Among the 852 who were unable to return to work at 12 weeks after injury, 225 reportedly returned to work by 1 year. A proportional hazards regression indicated that after adjusting for all possible risk factors, higher scores in BSRS-50 and BSRS-5 at 12 weeks after injury were significant risk factors for not return to work (NRTW) at 1 year after injury. Other risk factors were gender, education level, length of hospitalization, affected physical appearance, and injury type. Among 10 psycho-physiological symptoms of BSRS-50, a proportional hazards regression indicated that high score in phobic-anxiety scale was a risk factor for NRTW. Conclusions After considering all other factors, psychological symptoms further predicted poorer probability of returning to work after occupational injury, and phobic-anxiety was the most significant symptom predicting poor RTW. Development of preventive measures among injured workers according to the risk factors identified in this study is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-62
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Rehabilitation
  • Occupational Therapy

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