Occupational therapy aims to help patients resume their occupations. Therefore, we must know their work status after our intervention. We collected demographic and burn-related data from patient charts and analyzed it to determine the work status of former patients with burned hands and what influenced their returning to work. From 284 former patients with burns, we screened 159 with burned hands, 108 of whom were interviewed through the telephone about their work status. We used logistic regression analysis to analyze factors for having work, returning to work, the length of time required to return to work, and job modifications. We found that 1) having preburn employment increased the likelihood of having postburn employment; 2) being the primary wage earner in a family increased the likelihood of having work and of a return to work postburn; 3) a longer stay in the hospital, and burn injuries on both hands and trunk increased the time required to return to work; and 4) being older and having a smaller percentage of total body burn area decreased the likelihood of returning to a job modified because of a burn injury. Returning to work was affected not only by burn-related factors but also by general demographic and employment factors. We urge occupational therapy departments to include a return-to-work program in their routine services to improve the chances of patients with hand burns to return to work. We strongly recommend that a multicenter prospective study of hand-burn injuries should be performed.
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