Outcomes in work-related injuries: a comparison of older and younger workers
Department of Family Medicine and Community Health; Department of Psychiatry
Absenteeism; *Accidents, Occupational; Adult; Age Factors; Epidemiologic Methods; Female; Health Surveys; Humans; Job Satisfaction; Male; Middle Aged; Treatment Outcome; Work Capacity Evaluation; Wounds and Injuries
Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Preventative Medicine | Primary Care
BACKGROUND: The "graying of the workforce" has generated concerns about the physical capacity of older workers to maintain their health and productivity on the job, especially after an injury occurs. There is little detailed research on age-related differences in work outcomes after an occupational injury.
METHODS: A self-report survey about occupational, health, and financial outcomes, and related factors was administered 2-8 weeks post-injury to workers aged < 55 and > or = 55 who had lost time due to a work injury.
RESULTS: Despite more severe injuries in older workers, most outcomes were similar in both age groups. In multivariate models, age was unrelated or inversely related to poor outcomes. Injury severity, physical functioning, and problems upon return to work were associated with adverse work injury outcomes.
CONCLUSIONS: Older workers appear to fare better than younger workers after a work injury; their relative advantage may be primarily due to longer workplace attachment and the healthy worker effect.
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Citation: Am J Ind Med. 2005 Feb;47(2):104-12. Link to article on publisher's site