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Contacts with general practitioner, sick leave and work participation after electrical injuries: a register-based, matched cohort study
  1. Karin Biering,
  2. Jesper Medom Vestergaard,
  3. Kent Jacob Nielsen,
  4. Ole Carstensen,
  5. Anette Kærgaard
  1. Department of Occupational Medicine, Danish Ramazzini Centre, Regional Hospital West Jutland, Herning, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Mrs Karin Biering, Department of Occupational Medicine, Danish Ramazzini Centre, Regional Hospital West Jutland, 7400 Herning, Denmark; karbie{at}rm.dk

Abstract

Objective Exposure to electrical current may cause injury with both mental and physiological consequences. This may lead to increased contacts with general practitioners (GP) and the injured person may develop reduced ability to work. We aimed to examine these outcomes in terms of work-participation, long-term sick leave and contacts with GPs.

Methods In a matched cohort design, we identified 14 112 electrical injuries in two registries and matched these with both patients with distorsion injuries or eye injuries, and with persons from the same occupation, using year of injury, sex and age for matching. We defined the outcomes based on register information regarding contacts with GPs and public transfer income. After the injury, we determined if the person had a long-term sick leave episode during the first 6, 12 months and 5 years. We calculated work participation during the year and 5 years and the number of GP contacts in the year of the injury, the year after and 5 years after the injury and dichotomised this at twice the mean number of contacts in the study population. The associations were analysed using conditional logistic regression.

Results We found increased risk for all defined outcomes, with the highest estimates in the occupation match. The risk estimates were similar over time. Adjusting for previous work participation increased the estimates slightly, whereas adjusting for previous contacts with GPs reduced the estimates. Restricting to those with at longer hospitalisation increased the estimates.

Conclusion Electrical injuries increase risk of long-term sick leave, low work participation and increased contacts with GPs.

  • health and safety
  • occupational health practice
  • public health
  • health services research
  • sickness absence
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Footnotes

  • Contributors KB and JMV processed the data, KB analysed the data and wrote first draft of the paper. All authors designed the study, discussed the results and content of the paper and cowrote and approved the final version.

  • Funding This study was supported by the Danish Working Environment Research Fund, grant number 22-2017-09.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval The study was registered by the Danish Dataprotection Agency via Central Region Denmark and approved by the Statistics Denmark. Study participants were anonymised for the researchers.

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

  • Data availability statement Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available. No data are available. The dataset consist of different databases and registers from Statistics Denmark and can be applied for from: https://www.dst.dk/en/TilSalg/skraeddersyede-loesninger.

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