Factors associated with return-to-work and health outcomes among survivors of road crashes in Victoria

Michael Fitzharris, Diana Bowman, Karinne Ludlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objective: To explore the relationships between injury, disability, work role and return-to-work outcomes following admission to hospital as a consequence of injury sustained In a road crash. Design and setting: Prospective cohort study of patients admitted to an adult trauma centre and two metropolitan teaching hospitals in Victoria, Australia. Participants were interviewed in hospital, 2.5 and eight months post-discharge. Participants: Participants were 60 employed and healthy adults aged 18 to 59 years admitted to hospital in the period February 2004 to March 2005. Results: Despite differences in health between the lower extremity fracture and non-fracture groups eight months postcrash the proportions having returned to work was approximately 90%. Of those returning to work, 44% did so in a different role. After adjustment for baseline parameters, lower extremity injuries were associated with a slower rate of return to work (HR: 0.31; 95%Cl: 0.16-0.58) as was holding a manual occupation (HR: 0.16; 95%Cl: 0.09-0.57). There were marked differences in physical health between and within the injury groups at both follow-up periods. Conclusions: These results demonstrate that both injury type and severity and the nature of ones occupation have a considerable influence on the rate and pattern of return to work following injury. Further, persisting disability has a direct influence on the likelihood of returning to work. The implications of these findings and the types of data required to measure outcome post-injury are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-159
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Accidents
  • Compensation
  • Disability
  • Injuries
  • Pain
  • Quality of life
  • Wounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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