• Solveig Ørum Holmskov
5. Term (Master thesis), Medicine, Master (Master Programme)
Background: Back pain is a frequent condition. In a study from 2015 executed in Denmark 36 % of adults > 16 years old were troubled by back pain. In Denmark, patients with back pain havean extra 2.6 days of sick leave compared to the rest of the population, which generates an expense of 2.6 billion Danish crowns. Furthermore, an expense of 4.7 billion Danish crowns are spend on disability pensions due to back pain/back diseases per year. One factor that several studies found to be related to poorer outcome among back pain patients was having a compensation claim. The objective of this study was to examine whether having a pending case on financial compensation affected employment status at 1-year follow-up among patients referred with back- or neck-related pain. Methods: Data were collected through a questionnaire and the DREAM-database that contains weekly information on sickness absence compensation and granted disability pension for Danish citizens employed in the public or private sector. Inclusion criteria were age < 63 years, not being on disability pension or early retirement pension on date of filling in the questionnaire, and having answered the question about a pending case. Information on having a pending case (including worker´s compensation, insurance, indemnification and/or complaint) was obtained from the questionnaire. Information on source of income from 1 year before to one year after the patients filled in the questionnaire the DREAM database. Reduced work ability was defined as receiving disability pension, permanent part time benefit or sickness benefit. Results: 754 patients were included, 42 % were < 40 years old and 389 were women. At baseline those with a pending case were more likely to report higher VAS (Visual Analogue Scale) and they more often had the opinion that work worsens/would worsen their pain. Furthermore, they were more likely to believe, that they would never return to their current job. At 1 year follow-up having a pending case increased the odds for reduced work ability (OR 1.6 (CI 1.0-2.5)). Conclusion: Having a pending case most likely increases the risk of low work ability among patients with back- or neck-related pain.
Publication date18 Dec 2015
Number of pages28
ID: 224198389