250241 Identifying work-related motor vehicle crashes in multiple data sources

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Andrea Thomas, MS , Intermountain Injury Control Research Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
Steven Thygerson, PhD, MSPH, CIH , Department of Health Sciences, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
Ray M. Merrill, PhD, MPH , Health Science, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
Larry Cook, MStat, PhD , Intermountain Injury Control Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
Objective: To estimate the magnitude of work-related motor vehicle crashes in Utah using two probabilistically linked statewide databases.

Methods: 2006 and 2007 Utah crash, emergency department, and hospital discharge databases were joined through probabilistic linkage. Capture-recapture, counts, and percents were used to estimate the number and describe the characteristics of occupants injured in work-related crashes.

Results: Of the 2,956 work-related crash injuries, only 314 were coded as work-related in both databases. An additional 1,129 cases had records in both databases but were identified as work related only in the crash (n=464) or hospital (n=665) database. There were 819 crash records with no corresponding hospital record and 694 hospital records with no corresponding crash record.

The population of occupants injured in work-related crashes was estimated to be between 1,851 and 8,485.

All cases identified as work-related crashes from the crash database were occupants of commercial or special function vehicles. Over 80% of patients identified in the hospital database were coded as an occupant of a passenger vehicle or light truck. The majority of patients from the hospital database used workers compensation. Approximately 75% of injured occupants identified from the crash database used commercial insurance.

Discussion: Research on single databases may lead to biased interpretations about work-related crashes. Even combining two population based datasets resulted in undercounting the magnitude of work-related crashes. Adding a work-related crash variable to state and national data systems may be warranted.

Learning Areas:
Biostatistics, economics
Communication and informatics
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Define limitations of identifying work-related crashes using a single database. Describe the need for better work-related crash identifiers in state and national data systems.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have two years of professional experience studying and analyzing motor vehicle crashes.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.