Returning to Work Following an Injury: Practical Usage of a Predictive Model Based on a Nationwide Study


Work absenteeism following an injury creates an economic burden on society and the individual. Programs encouraging return to work (RTW) should be implemented for high risk populations. The aim of this study was to identify the predictors for duration until RTW following an injury. The Israeli National Trauma Registry and the National Insurance Institute database (2008–2013) were linked. Logistic-regression models tested the probability not RTW within 1 month, 1 year and 2 years among 67% of the population and the quality of the model was examined among 33% of the population. The study population comprised 45,291 casualties (aged 21–67 and employed prior to injury as salaried workers). The majority of the study population (61%) RTW within 1 month from the injury event. Injury severity, multiple injuries, brain injury, traffic related injuries and fall injuries were significantly associated with work absenteeism. A dose–response relationship was found between income and not RTW: the lower the income the greater was the chance of not RTW. Among casualties with occupational injuries the odds for not RTW within a month, a year and 2 years were respectively, 3.7, 2.4 and 2 times significantly greater in comparison with casualties not injured at work. Underprivileged ethnic groups (Arabs and immigrants from Ethiopia) had a greater chance for long out of work stay following an injury. The outcomes of this study identified casualties at high risk for not RTW and enables health professionals to develop intervention programs focusing on returning to a productive lifestyle.

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This research was supported in part by the grant of The National Insurance Institute (14302). We wish to thank Prof. Daniel Gottlieb, Deputy Director General of Research and Planning at the National Insurance Institute and Rivka Prior, Director of the Disabilities Research Department at the National Insurance Institute for their valuable support on this project.

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Correspondence to Bella Savitsky.

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All authors approve that they do not have any financial and personal relationships with other people, or organizations, that could inappropriately influence (bias) this research and this manuscript.

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As identifying information was not available to researchers, none informed consent was needed. This study was approved by following Ethical Committees: Ethical Committee of the Sheba medical center and Ethical Committee of the National Insurance Institute of Israel.

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Savitsky, B., Radomislensky, I., Goldman, S. et al. Returning to Work Following an Injury: Practical Usage of a Predictive Model Based on a Nationwide Study. J Community Health 45, 183–193 (2020).

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  • Injury
  • Work absenteeism
  • Return to work
  • Disability