I have written about the ISCRR before. I think it is a stupid name as it is almost impossible to remember, it stands for the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research. Why, oh why, did they not twist this into RRISC or something similar?
Anyway it produces a monthly newsletter which has some interesting research finding. In the latest newsletter there are two items of research that I thought were interesting.
The first article is regarding Gender Differences with Mental Disorder Claims.
WorkSafe Victoria (Australia) workers’ compensation data (254,704 claims with affliction onset 2004–2011) were analysed. Claim rates were calculated by combining compensation data with state-wide employment data.
Mental disorder claim rates were 1.9 times higher among women; physical injury claim rates were 1.4 times higher among men. Adjusting for occupational group reversed the gender difference in musculoskeletal and tendon injury claim rates, i.e., these were more common in women than men after adjusting for occupational exposure.
Men had higher rates of physical injury claims than women, but this was mostly attributable to occupational factors. Women had higher rates of mental disorder claims than men; this was not fully explained by industry or occupation. Am. J. Ind. Med. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
The second article was one of those articles that seem to be a total waste of time and provided a blinding glimpse of the obvious. I have summarised it for you.
Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation December 2014, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 766-776
Mental health conditions (MHC) are an increasing reason for claiming injury compensation in Australia; however little is known about how these claims are managed by different gatekeepers to injury entitlements. This study, drawing on the views of four stakeholders—general practitioners (GPs), injured persons, employers and compensation agents, aims to describe current management of MHC claims and to identify the current barriers to return to work (RTW) for injured persons with a MHC claim and/or mental illness.
Methods Ninety-three in-depth interviews were undertaken with GPs, compensation agents, employers and injured persons. Data were collected in Melbourne, Australia.
Results MHC claims were complex to manage because of initial assessment and diagnostic difficulties related to the invisibility of the injury, conflicting medical opinions and the stigma associated with making a MHC claim. Mental illness also developed as a secondary issue in the recovery process. These factors made MHC difficult to manage and impeded timely RTW.
Conclusions It is necessary to undertake further research (e.g. guideline development) to improve current practice in order to enable those with MHC claims to make a timely RTW. Further education and training interventions (e.g. on diagnosis and management of MHC) are also needed to enable GPs, employers and compensation agents to better assess and manage MHC claims.
Don’t you hate it when researchers’ conclusion is that more research is needed!