Health and return to work in the first two years following road traffic injury: a comparison of outcomes between compensation claimants in Victoria and New South Wales, Australia

Melita J. Giummarra, Darnel Murgatroyd, Yvonne Tran, Sam Adie, Rajat Mittal, Jennie Ponsford, Peter Cameron, Belinda Gabbe, Ian A. Harris, Ian D. Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: People who sustain road traffic injuries often have poor health outcomes. While outcomes are often worse in people with a compensation claim, especially in fault-based schemes versus no-fault schemes, few studies have directly compared outcomes across scheme types. Objective: To compare health and work outcomes between people who had no compensation claim, a fault-based claim, or “no-fault” transport or workers compensation claim after hospitalisation for a road traffic injury. Methods: Participants aged >=18 years admitted to hospital in New South Wales or Victoria for >24 hours were recruited in two separate prospective cohort studies (N=1,034). People who died or sustained minor or very severe injuries were excluded. Groups included Compulsory Third Party (fault-based, n=128), no-fault Transport Accident Commission (TAC; n=454) and workers compensation claimants (n=73), or no claim (n=226). Outcomes at six, 12- and 24-months post-injury included health [SF-12 Mental Component Score (MCS) and Physical Component Score (PCS)], and return to work for people working pre-injury. Multivariable mixed effects linear and logistic regressions, adjusting for demographic and injury covariates, examined differences in health and work outcomes between claimant groups, with fixed effects of time and random effects of participant ID. Results: Health status was better in people with a no-fault TAC claim (MCS: m=50.62, 95%CI:49.62,51.62; PCS: m=40.49, 95%CI:39.46,41.52) or no claim (MCS: m=49.99, 95%CI:49.62,51.62; PCS: m=44.36, 95%CI:43.00,45.72), than people with a workers compensation (MCS: m=45.73, 95%CI:43.46,48.00; PCS: m=38.94, 95%CI:36.59,41.30) or fault-based CTP claim (MCS: m=41.34, 95%CI:39.54,43.13; PCS: m=35.64, 95%CI:33.78,37.49). Relative to fault-based CTP claimants, the odds of returning to work were higher for people with no claim (AOR=6.84, 95%CI:1.73,27.05) but did not differ for no-fault TAC (AOR=1.21, 95%CI:0.36,4.05) or workers compensation claimants (AOR=0.83,95%CI: 0.17,3.99). While people with a fault-based CTP claim had poorer mental and physical health and return to work after injury, they showed greater improvements in mental health, and similar levels of improvement in physical health and work participation over time to the other groups. Conclusion: The patterns of health and work across scheme types provide important insights against which we can contrast the effects of future scheme designs on client outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2199-2208
Number of pages10
JournalInjury
Volume51
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Accidents
  • Compensation and redress
  • Injury
  • Insurance
  • Outcomes
  • Recovery
  • Return to work
  • Traffic
  • Trauma

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