2016-06-01 12:00 - Messages

Return to Work Survey 2016 - Australia

In 2012 a working group consisting of representatives of Australian and New Zealand workers' compensation authorities, unions and employer groups developed a survey instrument and sampling methodology to be used to measure return to work outcomes of injured workers receiving workers' compensation and to better understand the experience of those injured workers and the factors that may have an effect on their return to work. In June 2012 Safe Work Australia's Strategic Issues Group for Workers' Compensation agreed to the survey instrument and methodology developed by the working group and the Social Research Centre was contracted to run the survey. In 2014, Safe Work Australia agreed that the survey should be run biennially. This is the third time the revised Return to Work Survey has been run.

Source: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/about/publications/pages/return-to-work-survey-2016

Effectiveness of very early workplace interventions to reduce sickness absence

A systematic review of the literature and meta-analysis
This systematic review identified a lack of evidence to support the effectiveness of "very early" (less than 15 days after the start of sickness absence) workplace intervention to reduce sick leave compared to usual care. Lack of consensus on definition of "very early/early" interventions, methodological design of studies, the extent, and timing of usual care provided and variable compliance between groups might explain the absence of demonstrated benefit.

Source: Vargas-Prada S, Demou E, Lalloo D, Avila-Palencia I, Sanati KA, Sampere M, Freer K, Serra C, Macdonald EB. Scand J Work Environ Health, 2016. 
http://dx.doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.3576

Comparing the Relationship Between Age and Length of Disability Across Common Chronic Conditions

Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the association between age and disability length across common chronic conditions.
Methods: Analysis of 39,915 nonwork-related disability claims with a diagnosis of arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, depression, low back pain, chronic pulmonary disease, or cancer. Ordinary least squares regression models examined age-length of disability association across chronic conditions.
Results: Arthritis (76.6 days), depression (63.2 days), and cancer (64.9 days) were associated with longest mean disability lengths; hypertension was related to shortest disability lengths (41.5 days). Across chronic conditions, older age was significantly associated with longer work disability. The age–length of disability association was most significant for chronic pulmonary disease and cancer. The relationship between age and length of work disability was linear among most chronic conditions.
Conclusions: Work disability prevention strategies should consider both employee age and chronic condition diagnosis.

Source: Jetha, Arif; Besen, Elyssa; Smith, Peter M. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: May 2016, Volume 58, Issue 5, p. 485-491.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000702

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