The Association between Continuity of Care with a Primary Care Physician and Duration of Work Disability for Low Back Pain: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Luke R. Sheehan, Michael Di Donato, Shannon E. Gray, Tyler J. Lane, Caryn Van Vreden, Alex Collie

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives The aims of the study are to determine the continuity of care (CoC) provided by primary care physicians among workers with low back pain, to identify factors associated with CoC, and to investigate whether CoC is associated with working time loss. Methods Continuity of care was measured with the usual provider continuity metric. Ordinal logistic regression models examined factors associated with CoC. Quantile regression models examined the association between working time loss and CoC. Results Complete CoC was observed in 33.8% of workers, high CoC among 37.7%, moderate CoC in 22.1%, and low CoC in 6.4%. In workers with more than 2-months time loss, those with complete CoC had less time off work. Conclusions Higher CoC with a primary care physician is associated with less working time loss and this relationship is strongest in the subacute phase of low back pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e606-e612
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • continuity of care
  • low back pain
  • primary care
  • work disability
  • workers' compensation

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