Lag Times in Reporting Injuries, Receiving Medical Care, and Missing Work: Associations With the Length of Work Disability in Occupational Back Injuries

Elyssa Besen, Mason Harrell, Glenn Pransky
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2016, 58 (1): 53-60

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to examine the associations between lag times following occupational low back injury and the length of work disability.

METHODS: In a retrospective cohort study using workers' compensation claims, random effects Tobit models were used to explore how disability length relates to three lag times: the number of days from the date of injury to reporting the injury, the number of days from the date of injury to medical care, and the number of days from the date of injury to initiating work disability.

RESULTS: In general, shorter lag times for each of the different lags were related to shorter lengths of disability.

CONCLUSIONS: Decreasing the length of the lag times in reporting injuries, receiving medical care, and missing work may help to decrease the length of work disability for workers after low back injury.

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