Research Reports - The association of compensation and long-term health status for people with severe traumatic injuries

J Rehabil Med. 2013 May 3;45(5):446-51

Schaafsma FG, Middleton J, De Wolf AC, Tate RL, Cameron ID

Objective: It was hypothesized that, for people with severe traumatic injuries,
no association between long term health status and receiving financial
compensation would be detected. Design: Two prospective cohort studies. Subjects:
A group of people with severe traumatic brain injury (n = 132) and a group of
people with traumatic spinal cord injury (n = 58). Methods: Health status and
functioning were measured at baseline and at 5 years follow-up for both injury
groups. Results per group were compared between those who received compensation
and those who were non-compensable. Results: In the brain injury cohort those
receiving financial compensation showed a significantly worse Disability Rating
Scale score after 5 years compared to the non-receiving group (p = 0.01).
Financial compensation was a modest predictor for being disabled (scores ≥ 4)
after 5 years (Exp (B) = 2.47, 95% confidence interval 1.03 to 5.93). In the
spinal cord injury cohort those receiving financial compensation scored
significantly lower with the Short-Form 36 General Health Survey/Physical
Component Summarise scores after 5 years than those who did not (p = 0.04).
Again, receiving financial compensation had a modest predictive value for the
Short-Form 36/Physical Component Summarise scores after 5 years (B = -4.72,
SE = 2.16, 95% confidence interval -9.05 to -0.38). Conclusion: Financial
compensation may have a small negative association with recovery, even for people
with severe traumatic injury.
 

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