Purpose: A novel indicator called health-adjusted leave days (HALDs) is proposed. It integrates the opposite level of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) with the sick leave days (LDs) before return-to-work (RTW) to better measure the impact of injuries on occupational health. Methods: A total of 1,167 limb injuries were consecutively recruited in a teaching hospital from January to December 2009. The number of LDs was calculated between the date of injury and the first episode of RTW. Each subject was repeatedly assessed with EuroQol instrument (EQ-5D) before RTW. The HRQoL index is defined as 1 minus the EQ-5D utility and re-scaled to 0-1 range to reflect the impact of injuries. The expected HALD of each group is calculated by integrating the product of the proportion of non-RTW function and the mean HRQoL index function over the days followed up to 2 years for the group. We compared the expected HALDs between subgroups according to various demographic characteristics and consequences of injury. Results: Older and female workers tended to have longer LDs than men and younger workers, with an increase in percentage change of 16.0 or 139.5 %, respectively. After adjusting for HRQoL index, the percentages for HALDswere changed to 28.7 or 186.6 %, respectively. The percentages for the less-educated workers and blue collar workers were 185.7 and 155.8 %. The expected HALDs showed statistical significant differences in all subgroup analyses. Conclusion: We believed that the proposed HALD could better measure the impact of injuries and is potentially useful for the clinical decision and industrial policy-making with respect to the assessment of the importance of limb injury due to a worker's sick leaves.
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