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Introduction Some workers with work-related compensated back pain (BP) experience a troubling course of disability. Factors associated with delayed recovery among workers with work-related compensated BP were explored. Methods This is a cohort study of workers with compensated BP in 2005 in Ontario, Canada. Follow up was 2æyears. Data was collected from employers, employees and health-care providers by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). Exclusion criteria were: (1) no-lost-time claims, (2) >30ædays between injury and claim filing, (3) 65æyears. Using proportional hazard models, we examined the prognostic value of information collected in the first 4æweeks after injury. Outcome measures were time on benefits during the first episode and time until recurrence after the first episode. Results Of 6,657 workers, 1,442 were still on full benefits after 4æweeks. Our final model containing age, physical demands, opioid prescription, union membership, availability of a return-to-work program, employer doubt about work-relatedness of injury, worker?s recovery expectations, participation in a rehabilitation program and communication of functional ability was able to identify prolonged claims to a fair degree [area under the curve (AUC)æ=æ.79, 95æ% confidence interval (CI) .74?.84]. A model containing age, sex, physical demands, opioid prescription and communication of functional ability was less successful at predicting time until recurrence (AUCæ=æ.61, 95æ% CI .57, .65). Conclusions Factors contained in information currently collected by the WSIB during the first 4æweeks on benefits can predict prolonged claims, but not recurrent claims. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10926-014-9534-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Originally Published In
Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Steenstra, Ivan A.; Busse, Jason W.; Tolusso, David; Davilmar, Arold; Lee, Hyunmi; Furlan, Andrea D.; Amick, Ben; and Hogg-Johnson, Sheilah, "Predicting Time on Prolonged Benefits for Injured Workers with Acute Back Pain" (2014). All Faculty. 83.
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