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Type: Journal article
Title: Does access to compensation have an impact on recovery outcomes after injury?
Author: O'Donnell, M.
Creamer, M.
McFarlane, A.
Silove, D.
Bryant, R.
Citation: Medical Journal of Australia, 2010; 192(6):328-333
Publisher: Australasian Med Publ Co Ltd
Issue Date: 2010
ISSN: 0025-729X
Statement of
Meaghan L O’Donnell, Mark C Creamer, Alexander C McFarlane, Derrick Silove and Richard A Bryant
Abstract: Objective: To conduct a descriptive study investigating the effect of access to motor vehicle accident (MVA) compensation on recovery outcomes at 24 months after injury. Design and setting: Longitudinal cohort study conducted in two Level 1 trauma hospitals in Victoria, Australia. Participants were 391 randomly selected injury patients with moderate-to-severe injuries. Compensable and non-compensable patients were compared at 24 months after injury on a number of health outcomes. Main outcome measures: Health outcomes at 24 months, including anxiety and depression severity, quality of life and disability. Results: Medical records identified two groups of compensation patients: MVA-compensable and non-compensable patients. After controlling for baseline variables, the MVA-compensable patients, at 24 months, had higher levels of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, and were less likely to have returned to their pre-injury number of work hours. However, some patients in the non-compensable group had accessed other forms of compensation (eg, private health care or compensation for victims of crime). When these were removed from the non-compensable group, the differences between MVA-compensable and non-compensable groups all but disappeared. Conclusion: Our findings do not support previous research showing that access to compensation is associated with poor recovery outcomes. The relationship between access to compensation and health outcomes is complex, and more high-level research is required.
Keywords: Humans
Wounds and Injuries
Disability Evaluation
Trauma Severity Indices
Retrospective Studies
Follow-Up Studies
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
Accidents, Traffic
Recovery of Function
Quality of Life
Outcome Assessment, Health Care
Rights: ©The Medical Journal of Australia 2010
DOI: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2010.tb03532.x
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