The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3222.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - 1:30 PM

Abstract #68420

Patient satisfaction and its relationship to treatment outcomes among injured workers receiving care through the Washington State Workers' Compensation system

Thomas M. Wickizer, PhD1, Gary F Franklin, MD, MPH2, Deborah Fulton-Kehoe, MPH1, Judith Turner, PhD1, and Terri Smith-Weller, MS1. (1) Department of Health Services, University of Washington, Box 357660, Seattle, WA 98195-7660, 206:616-2983,, (2) Department of Environmental Health, University of Washington, Box 357660, Seattle, WA 98040

This study was designed to assess patient satisfaction with care delivered through the workers compensation system, examine which dimensions of satisfaction were important to treatment, and the relationship between treatment experience and outcomes. Treatment satisfaction data were collected from injured workers over a 5-month period in 2000. Organized around episodes of care, the survey assessed initial care, follow-up care, specialty referrals, occupational health services and treatment satisfaction. Treatment was examined in relation to recovery status, return to work, disability and attorney involvement. The sample included 804 workers' compensation patients randomly selected within four strata: carpal tunnel syndrome: n = 219, low back pain: n = 197, fractures: n = 202, and patients with other injuries: n = 186 (response rate: 54.2%). Three of four respondents reported being very satisfied with care; 85% used follow-up medical care requiring coordination. Satisfaction measures were related to overall treatment, including satisfaction with technical care, coordination, interpersonal care, timing of referrals, and occupational health. Patients' treatment experience was associated with treatment outcomes. The odds of being on disability at 6 or 12 months post-injury were 2.3 times greater, p = .01, among patients whose treatment experience was less than very good. Attorney involvement was inversely related to treatment experience, OR = 3.1, p < .01. Organizing patient satisfaction surveys by episodes of care was useful for assessing treatment experience and satisfaction; the treatment experience affected outcomes. Findings guided the design of an intervention to improve quality and outcomes for injured workers in Washington.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Occupational Health Care, Workers' Compensation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: I am the PI on a grant funded through the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries

Occupational Health Services Research: Evaluating the Outcomes, Cost and Quality of Care Among Employees

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA