To identify the potential determinants of return to work (RTW) following work-related injury.
A historical cohort of workers with occupational injury in a state-owned locomotive vehicle company in central China was followed up for RTW. Demographic, employment and medical information was retrieved from the company archival documents; and post-injury information was interviewed by questionnaires. Univariate analysis and Cox Regression Model were used to examine the associations between potential determinants and outcomes of RTW.
Three hundred of the 323 included cases (92.9%) eventually returned to work after the median absence of 43 days (average of 49.2 days). Factors from socio-demographic, clinical, economic and psychological domains were found affecting RTW in the univariate analyses. The multivariate analysis indicated that age, injury severity, injury locus, injury nature, pain in the injury locus, self-reported health status and pre-injury monthly salary were significant determinants of RTW.
There are multidimensional factors affecting RTW after occupational injury. Proper clinical treatment and rehabilitation, as well as economic and social support to facilitate workers' RTW would be the priorities for intervention. Future studies should be conducted in a larger representative sample to confirm the findings and to develop a multidisciplinary intervention strategy towards promoting RTW.
Zhonghua lao dong wei sheng zhi ye bing za zhi = Zhonghua laodong weisheng zhiyebing zazhi = Chinese journal of industrial hygiene and occupational diseases 06/2010; 28(6):405-9.