A systematic review of early prognostic factors for return to work following acute orthopaedic trauma
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Introduction Acute orthopaedic trauma is a major contributor to the global burden of disease. This study aims to synthesise and summarise current knowledge concerning prognostic factors for return to work and duration of work disability following acute orthopaedic trauma. Methods A systematic review of prognostic studies was performed. The Medline, Embase, PsychINFO, CINAHL and AMED electronic databases were searched for studies between 1985 and May 2009. Included studies were longitudinal, reported results with multivariate statistical analyses appropriate to prognostic studies, comprised persons employed at the time of the injury, included prognostic factors measured proximal to the injury and focused on upper and lower extremity injuries. Results Searches yielded 980 studies of which 15 met the inclusion criteria and were rated for methodological quality. Analysis focused on the 14 factors considered in more than one study. There was limited evidence for the role of any factor as a predictor of return to work. There is strong evidence for level of education and blue collar work and moderate evidence for self-efficacy, injury severity and compensation as prognostic factors for the duration of work disability. Significant methodological issues were encountered in the course of the review that limited interpretation of the evidence and the conclusions that could be drawn from the findings. Conclusion People who have sustained acute orthopaedic trauma regardless of severity experience difficulties in returning to work. Due to the lack of factors considered in more than one cohort, the results of this review are inconclusive. The review highlights the need for more prospective studies that are methodologically rigorous, have larger sample sizes and considers a comprehensive range of factors.
Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified