Factors Associated With Short-Term Disability Episodes

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Objective:This study examines factors associated with a mental/behavioral disorder-related short-term disability episode versus a physical disorder-related disability episode using administrative longitudinal data.Methods:Logistic regression models were used to estimate the association between worker characteristics and different types of disability episodes.Results:A previous disability episode is significantly associated with a current disability. Nevertheless, mental/behavioral disorders are related to higher odds of another episode. A worker with a previous disability episode related to a mental/behavioral disorder is almost 7× more likely to have another disability episode related to a mental disorder/behavioral disorder.Conclusions:One of the critical factors associated with a disability episode is a history of a previous disability episode. Relapse is a critical factor and should be considered in the design of occupational health programs.

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