Factors associated with short-term disability episodes

Carolyn S Dewa, Nancy Chau, Stanley Dermer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: This study examines factors associated with a mental/behavioral disorder-related short-term disability episode versus a physical disorder-related disability episode using administrative longitudinal data. Methods: Logistic regression models were used to estimate the association between worker characteristics and different types of disability episodes. Results: A previous disability episode is significantly associated with a current disability. Nevertheless, mental/behavioral disorders are related to higher odds of another episode. A worker with a previous disability episode related to a mental/behavioral disorder is almost 7× more likely to have another disability episode related to a mental disorder/behavioral disorder. Conclusions: One of the critical factors associated with a disability episode is a history of a previous disability episode. Relapse is a critical factor and should be considered in the design of occupational health programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1394-1402
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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