Family matters: compensable injury and the effect on family

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    Abstract

    Purpose: It is well acknowledged that involvement in injury compensation processes can have a substantial impact on the recovery of the injured person. However, little attention has been given to the social or family consequences of compensable injury. The aims of this study were to better understand both the impact of compensable injury on the family and the role that families play after an injury, throughout the compensation process, and during return to work. Methods: Eighteen injured persons and nine family members recruited through three compensation authorities in Victoria (Australia) were interviewed. A thematic analysis was used to identify the role that family played after injury and how family members were affected during the recovery and compensation process. Results: The results highlight the important role family members play following a compensable injury, in addition to factors that impact family members’ daily living, health, and well-being. The study suggests that compensation processes can have an impact on family members, despite compensation systems not formally acknowledging the family in policy or procedure. Conclusions: Compensation authorities should formally consider the role of family in recovery from injury, not only as one means of addressing the overall burden of injury but as a conduit for improving health and function among injured people.Implications for RehabilitationFamily members play an important role after compensable injury that includes providing administrative, instrumental, and emotional support.The recovery and injury compensation process can also have a major impact on family members, particularly in the case of prolonged and complex injuries and illnessesCompensation authorities should formally consider the role of family in the recovery from injury, not only as one means of addressing the overall burden of injury but, as a conduit for improving health and function among injured people.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)935-944
    Number of pages10
    JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
    Volume40
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Keywords

    • Australia
    • Injury
    • motor vehicle accident
    • pain
    • qualitative research
    • roles
    • Victoria
    • workers’ compensation

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