261231 Pilot study of the family effects of occupational injury

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Stephanie Phelps, BSN, MS , School of Nursing, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Marion Gillen, PhD , School of Nursing, UC San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Irene H. Yen, PhD , Department of Medicine, UCSF, San Francisco, CA
Background: In 2010, over half of U.S. private sector occupational injuries and illnesses resulted in lost time, job transfer, or work restrictions. The purpose of this study is to assess the economic, social, and psychological effects on the family members of individuals who suffered a work-related injury. Methods: Telephone survey data were collected from a convenience sample of 34 family members of injured workers from a municipal occupational health clinic. Instruments included the SF-12, Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), Stanford Presenteeism Scale (SPS), and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). Results: Of the 34 participants, the majority were women (71%), non-white (77%), high school graduates (88%), employed (56%), and spouses/partners of workers (68%). Less than half (43%) took unpaid time off and 5% utilized the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Family members reported they spent more money (33%), paid more for medical expenses (22%), experienced decreased income (46%), missed social activities (52%), and felt more stress (62%). CES-D scores suggested more than half felt depressed. Elevated mean PSS scores (M= 23.24, SD= 7.62) indicated high levels of perceived stress. However, SPS scores (M= 23.35, SD= 5.76) implied an ability to concentrate and accomplish work. Conclusion: This pilot study explored the personal/social costs of occupational injuries on family members. Workplace injuries may affect family members' home life through increased expenditures and stress, and decreased income and socialization. Healthcare providers may want to address such challenges by informing injured workers of FMLA and other assistance programs, including referrals for counseling services.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Assess the primary economic, social, and psychological effects on the family members of individuals who suffered a work-related injury.

Keywords: Occupational Health, Family/Consumer Perspective

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a third year Nursing PhD student, I have worked closely with Dr. Gillen whose data I have used as a secondary analysis. I am a Certified Occupational Health Nurse Specialist (COHN-S) and an Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner. My program of interest is occupational health, specifically, identifying injury risk factors and the effect occupational injuries have on workers and their family members.
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.