Workers' compensation

Trust plays important role in return-to-work, research group says

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Photo: SANSA Images

Cambridge, MA – Trust is an important predictor of whether an injured employee will return to work, according to new studies from the Workers Compensation Research Institute.

In surveys conducted in Arkansas, Connecticut, Iowa and Tennessee, WCRI asked injured workers whether they were worried about being fired as a result of their injury. Between 34 percent and 45 percent of respondents reported being “somewhat” or “very” concerned about being laid off or fired following their injury.

Workers who feared being fired experienced poorer return-to-work outcomes than workers without such concerns. The institute also found that the more concerned the workers were about losing their job, the longer they remained on disability.

These studies reflect similar research results WCRI released last summer.

WCRI said that knowing trust plays a role in when an injured worker returns to the job can help states better target health care and return-to-work interventions.