Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Original research
Time to return to work following workplace violence among direct healthcare and social workers
  1. Kelvin Choi,
  2. Esther T Maas,
  3. Mieke Koehoorn,
  4. Christopher B McLeod
  1. School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Esther T Maas, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3, Canada; esther.maas{at}


Objectives This study examined time to return-to-work (RTW) among direct healthcare and social workers with violence-related incidents compared with these workers with non-violence-related incidents in British Columbia, Canada.

Methods Accepted workers’ compensation lost-time claims were extracted between 2010 and 2014. Workers with violence-related incidents and with non-violence-related incidents were matched using coarsened exact matching (n=5762). The outcome was days until RTW within 1 year after the first day of time loss, estimated with Cox regression using piecewise models, stratified by injury type, occupation, care setting and shift type.

Results Workers with violence-related incidents, compared with workers with non-violence-related incidents, were more likely to RTW within 30 days postinjury, less likely within 61–180 days, and were no different after 181 days. Workers with psychological injuries resulting from a violence-related incident had a lower likelihood to RTW during the year postinjury (HR 0.61, 95% CI 0.43 to 0.86). Workers with violence-related incidents in counselling and social work occupations were less likely to RTW within 90 days postinjury (HR 31–60 days: 0.67, 95% CI 0.48 to 0.95 and HR 61–90 days: 0.46, 95% CI 0.30 to 0.69). Workers with violence-related incidents in long-term care and residential social services were less likely to RTW within 91–180 days postinjury.

Conclusions Workers with psychological injuries, and those in counselling and social work occupations and in long-term care and residential social services, took longer to RTW following a violence-related incident than workers with non-violence-related incidents. Future research should focus on identifying risk factors to reduce the burden of violence and facilitate RTW.

  • Cohort study
  • workplace violence
  • return to work
  • psychological injuries
View Full Text

Statistics from


  • Presented at This work is presented at the 26th International Symposium on Epidemiology in Occupational Health (EPICOH).

  • Contributors All authors were involved in the conceptualisation of the project. KC, CBM and ETM were involved in the analyses. KC and ETM drafted the paper. All authors edited the paper.

  • Funding This study was funded by Workers compensation board of British Columbia (RS2014-SP02).

  • Disclaimer All inferences, opinions and conclusions drawn in this manuscript are those of the authors, and do not reflect the opinions or policies of the Data Steward(s).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by the Behavioural Research Ethics Board at The University of British Columbia (Certificate no. H16-01622).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available. The BC Freedom of Informant and Protection of Privacy Act (RSBC 1996) CHAPTER 165 (the legislation that authorises us to use the data for our study) does not authorise this data be access or view outside of Canada. Under our obligations under this legislation and under an information sharing agreement with WorksafeBC to use the data, we are prohibited from sharing the data outside of Canada and outside our research team. If other researchers wanted access to the data, they would need to negotiate access directly with the data provider, WorkSafeBC.The data for this project can only be accessed in Canada and making an application through to WorkSafeBC and by entering into an Research Agreement with WorkSafeBC.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.