Psychological consequences of work injury: Personality, trauma and psychological distress symptoms of noninjured workers and injured workers returning to, or remaining at work.
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Despite growing recognition of the importance of psychosocial factors in reducing ongoing work disability, research into the psychological consequences for injured workers who remain at, or return to work is limited. This study compares injured workers who have returned to, or remained at, work with noninjured workers on measures of personality, trauma symptoms, and symptoms of psychological distress. Data from structured clinical interviews, psychological and self-report questionnaires were gathered from 29 workers, 14 of whom were recovering from an injury at the time of participation. Injured workers demonstrated higher levels of Neuroticism and lower Extraversion, indicating greater emotional instability and lower capacity for adaptively coping with stress when compared to noninjured workers. They also reported subclinical elevations on scales of trauma symptoms, and greater levels of depressive symptoms, somatic complaints, anxiety and sleep disturbance in comparison with noninjured workers. These results suggest that the psychological consequences for workers who return to, or remain at, work following injury may reduce adaptation and increase vulnerability to secondary work disability.
International Journal of Disability Managment Research