The aim of this study was to predict time off work following unintentional injuries due to accidents leading to hospital admission.
Prospective 6-month follow-up study.
Department of Trauma Surgery of a University Hospital.
Consecutively recruited victims of unintentional injuries (n=221) hospitalised for a minimum of 32 h including two consecutive nights. All the participants were aged 18–65 years and were able to participate in an assessment within 30 days of the accident.
Main outcome measures
Interview-assessed number of days off work during the 6 months immediately following the accident.
The patients’ subjective appraisals of (1) accident severity and (2) their ability to cope with the resulting injury and its job-related consequences predicted time off work following the accident beyond the impact of the objective severity of their injury and the type of accident involved.
The patients’ subjective appraisals of the accident severity and of their ability to cope with its consequences are highly relevant for return to work after accidents. Extending the findings from previous studies on severely injured and otherwise preselected accident victims, this seems to apply to the whole spectrum of patients hospitalised with unintentional injuries.