The impact of fragility fractures on work and characteristics associated with time to return to work

Publication type
Journal article
Authors
Rotondi NK Beaton DE Ilieff M Adhihetty C Linton D Bogoch E Sale J Hogg-Johnson S Jaglal S Jain R Weldon J
Date published
2017 Jan 25
Journal
Osteoporosis International
Volume
28
Issue
1
Pages
349-358
Open Access?
No
Abstract

We examined the impact of fragility fractures on the work outcomes of employed patients. The majority successfully returned to their previous jobs in a short amount of time, and productivity loss at work was low. Our findings underscore the fast recovery rates of working fragility fracture patients. INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study is to describe the impact of fragility fractures on the work outcomes of patients who were employed at the time of their fracture. METHODS: A self-report anonymous survey was mailed to fragility fracture patients over 50 who were screened as part of the quality assurance programs of fracture clinics across 35 hospitals in Ontario, Canada. Measures of return to work (RTW), at-work productivity loss (Work Limitations Questionnaire), and sociodemographic, fracture-related, and job characteristics were included in the survey. Kaplan-Meier estimates of the cumulative proportion of patients still off work were computed. Factors associated with RTW time following a fragility fracture were examined using Cox proportional hazards modeling. RESULTS: Of 275 participants, 242 (88 %) returned to work. Of these, the median RTW time was 20.5 days. About 86 % returned to the same job, duties, and hours as before their injury. Among full-time workers, the median number of lost hours due to presenteeism was 2.9 h (Q1-Q3 0.4-8.1 h). The median cost of presenteeism was $75.30 based on the month prior to survey completion. In multivariable analyses, female gender, needing surgery, and medium/heavy work requirements were associated with longer RTW time. Earlier RTW time was associated with elbow fracture and feeling completely better at time of survey completion. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of fragility fracture patients successfully returned to their previous jobs in a short amount of time, and productivity loss at work was low. Our findings underscore their fast recovery rates and give reason for optimism regarding the resilience of this population