Occupational injury and psychological distress among U.S. workers: The National Health Interview Survey, 2004–2016
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Occupational injury and psychological distress among U.S. workers: The National Health Interview Survey, 2004–2016
  • Published Date:

    July 15 2020

  • Source:
    J Safety Res. 74:207-217
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Filetype[PDF-191.49 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    J Safety Res
  • Description:
    Introduction: Injuries at work may negatively influence mental health due to lost or reduced working hours and financial burden of treatment. Our objective was to investigate, in U.S. workers (a) the prevalence of serious psychological distress (SPD) by injury status (occupational, non-occupational, and no injury) and injury characteristics, and (b) the association between injury status and SPD. Methods: Self-reported injuries within the previous three months were collected annually for 225,331 U.S. workers in the National Health Interview Survey (2004–2016). Psychological distress during the past 30 days was assessed using the Kessler 6 (K6) questions with Likert-type scale (0–4, total score range: 0–24). SPD was defined as K6 ≥ 13. Prevalence ratios (PR) from fitted logistic regression models were used to assess relationships between injury and SPD after controlling for covariates. Results: The prevalence of SPD was 4.74%, 3.58%, and 1.56% in workers reporting occupational injury (OI), non-occupational injury (NOI), and no injury, respectively. Workers with head and neck injury had the highest prevalence of SPD (Prevalence: OI = 7.71%, NOI = 6.17%), followed by workers with scrape/bruise/burn/bite (6.32% for those with OI). Workers reporting OI were two times more likely to have SPD compared to those without injury (PR = 2.19, 95%CI: 1.62–2.96). However, there was no significant difference in SPD between workers with OI and workers with NOI (PR = 0.98, 95%CI: 0.65–1.48). Conclusion: The prevalence of SPD varied by injury status with the highest being among workers reporting OI. We found that the workers reporting OI were significantly more likely to have SPD than those without injury, but not more than those with NOI. Practical Applications: Mental health management programs by employers are necessary for workers who are injured in the workplace.
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