Contacts with general practitioner, sick leave and work participation after electrical injuries: a register-based, matched cohort study

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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.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOccupational and Environmental Medicine
Pages (from-to)54-60
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

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