A recent study conducted by Paul Blanc, professor of Medicine at UCSF, compared the recovery of 650 hospital workers with work-related injuries.

The study reports that most injuries recovered in two years or less. They also noted that people in the lowest socio-economic group had much poorer outcomes. The study also stated that worse outcomes were evident with workers who perceived less reward and more effort on their job.

All injured workers had access to the same providers and it is noted that it was the highest level occupational healthcare. Participants all earned above minimum wage.

This study suggests that “creating work environments with appropriate rewards and less strain might contribute to better work effectiveness”.

As case managers, we need to gear our rehabilitation plan towards the needs of the workers. We need to be more proactive with return to work when we have a low wage earner with high physical demands as the motivation may be low. Return-to-work programs should be instituted to assist with reintegration, especially when the incentive is poor.

Author: Dahni Bloomfield, RN, CCM
Editor: Lisa Perry