Better information about the predictors of poorer worker outcomes may allow payors and doctors in Arkansas to better target health care and return-to-work interventions to those most at risk.
Cambridge, MA (PRWEB) January 22, 2015
A new study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) identified new predictors of worker outcomes that can help public officials, payors, and health care providers in Arkansas improve the treatment and communication an injured worker receives after an injury―leading to better outcomes.
“Better information about the predictors of poorer worker outcomes may allow payors and doctors in Arkansas to better target health care and return-to-work interventions to those most at risk,” said Dr. Richard Victor, WCRI’s executive director. “By compiling unique information, the study provides a profile of injured workers and workplace injuries in Arkansas.”
The study, Predictors of Worker Outcomes in Arkansas, found trust in the workplace to be one of the more important predictors that has not been examined before. To describe the level of trust or mistrust in the work relationship, the study asked workers if they were concerned about being fired as a result of the injury. Forty-five percent reported that they were somewhat or very concerned that they would be fired or laid off after they were injured. The rest reported no such concern.
The study also identified workers with specific comorbid medical conditions (existing simultaneously with but usually independent of the work injury) by asking whether the worker had received treatment for hypertension, diabetes, lung conditions, and heart problems in the year prior to the injury. Some of the study’s findings regarding this predictor are as follows:
- Hypertension was the most common comorbid medical condition reported (28 percent).
- Diabetes and lung conditions were reported by 8 and 6 percent of workers, respectively.
- Sixty-three percent of injured Arkansas workers reported having at least one comorbid medical condition or having smoked for 10 years or more; 22 percent of workers reported having more than one significant comorbid medical condition.
The study is based on telephone interviews with 401 injured workers in Arkansas. The surveys were conducted in 2014 for Arkansas injuries in 2010 and 2011. All workers who were interviewed had received workers’ compensation benefits and experienced more than seven days of lost time from work. On average, the injuries for the workers surveyed had occurred about 3.3 years prior to the interviews.
The Cambridge-based WCRI is recognized as a leader in providing high-quality, objective information about public policy issues involving workers' compensation systems. To purchase a copy of this study, click on the following link: http://www.wcrinet.org/result/wrkr_outcomes_AR_result.html.
The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) is an independent, not-for-profit research organization based in Cambridge, MA. Organized in late 1983, the Institute does not take positions on the issues it researches; rather, it provides information obtained through studies and data collection efforts, which conform to recognized scientific methods. Objectivity is further ensured through rigorous, unbiased peer review procedures. WCRI's diverse membership includes employers; insurers; governmental entities; managed care companies; health care providers; insurance regulators; state labor organizations; and state administrative agencies in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.