Timing of health service use among truck drivers after a work-related injury or illness

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Abstract

Purposes Timely delivery of treatment and rehabilitation is generally acknowledged to support injury recovery. This study aimed to describe the timing of health service use by injured truck drivers with work-related injury and to explore the association between demographic and injury factors and the duration of health service use. Methods Retrospective cohort study of injured truck drivers with accepted workers’ compensation claims in the state of Victoria, Australia. Descriptive analyses examined the percentage of injured truck drivers using health services by service type. Logistic regression model examined predictors of any service use versus no service use, and predictors of extended service use (≥ 52 weeks) versus short-term use. Results The timing of health service use by injured truck drivers with accepted workers’ compensation claims varies substantially by service type. General practitioner, specialist physician, and physical therapy service use peaks within the 14 weeks after compensation claim lodgement, whilst the majority of mental health services were accessed in the persistent phase beyond 14 weeks after claim lodgement. Older age, being employed by small companies, and claiming compensation for mental health conditions were associated with greater duration of health service use. Conclusions Injured truck drivers access a wide range of health services during the recovery and return to work process. Delivery of mental health services is delayed, including for those making mental health compensation claims. Health service planning should take into account worker and employer characteristics in addition to injury type.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)744-753
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Health service use
  • Occupational injuryrecovery
  • Truck driver
  • Work-related injury and illness

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