Associations of demographic and injury-related factors with return to work among job-injured workers with disabilities in South Korea
Soo Kyung Park
Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the associations between the type of return-to-work and demographic and injury-related characteristics among South Korean workers with permanent disabilities due to occupational injury.
Design: Retrospective cohort study.
Subjects: A total of 13,078 injured workers aged 20–55 years who were legally registered in 2005 as having permanent disabilities due to occupational injuries.
Methods: Workers’ compensation databases were used to identify the retrospective cohort and to abstract demographic and injury-related variables. Return-to-work information was obtained from an unemployment insurance database and by telephone interview. Multinomial multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to test the association between the type of return-to-work (pre-injury job, self-employment, employment at a new firm) and independent variables.
Results: Those subjects most likely to return to pre-injury jobs were male, aged 30–39 years, college educated with minor disabilities, and treated medically for one year or less. Findings were similar for those with a different employer after injury. However, the probability of self-employment was higher, particularly for males with moderate disabilities, but relatively lower among those under the age of 30 years.
Conclusion: Special attention needs to be directed to demographic and injury-related characteristics when designing return-to-work programmes for injured workers with disabilities in South Korea.
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