270265 Work-related illness and injury claims among certified athletic trainers reported to workers' compensation in Washington and California

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 10:50 AM - 11:10 AM

Kristen L. Kucera, PhD, MSPH, ATC, LAT , Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Duke University, Durham, NC
Karen G. Roos, PT, ATC , Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Jennifer Hootman, PhD , Division of Adult and Community Health, CDC, Atlanta, GA
Hester J. Lipscomb, PhD , Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
John Dement, PhD, CIH , Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
Barbara A. Silverstein, PhD, MPH
Background and Objective(s): We assessed reported work-related injury/illness incidence among nationally certified athletic trainers (ATs) through two large state workers' compensation systems. Reported event characteristics were described. Methods: Workers' compensation claims of ATs in California and Washington were identified from 2001-2009 through linkage to the national certification roster and subsequently de-identified for analyses. Two certified ATs independently reviewed each claim to categorize occupation and work setting and to determine if the claim was from athletic training work. Yearly populations at risk were estimated from National Athletic Trainers' Association membership statistics for each state. Incidence rate ratios (IRR) were reported by practice setting. Results: Of 651 claims identified, 79.4% (517) were associated with an athletic training occupation. Claims were predominantly traumatic injuries and disorders (84.0%): 46.6% sprains/strains, 11.2% open wounds, 6.4% bruises. Back (15.1%), fingers (11.4%), and knee (10.6%) were frequent specific body sites affected. Claims were frequently caused by bodily reaction/exertion (46.6%) or contact with objects/equipment (21.7%). The majority of events 74.5% (n=385) were associated with tasks clearly related to athletic training such as patient treatment (18.2%) and rehabilitation (11.7%). Schools (43.8%) and clinic/hospitals (39.6%) were most frequent work settings. Compared to schools, clinic/hospitals had modestly higher claim rates (IRR=1.15, 95% CI: 0.94-1.39) while other settings (e.g. professional or youth sport, nursing home) had lower claim rates (IRR=0.49, 95% CI: 0.38-0.64). Conclusions: These are the first known estimates of work-related injuries among a growing healthcare profession and may be helpful in identifying occupational tasks imposing injury risk for athletic trainers.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Assess the incidence of reported work-related injuries and illnesses among nationally certified athletic trainers through state workers’ compensation systems and describe the event characteristics.

Keywords: Workers' Compensation, Surveillance

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: none

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conducted research on the epidemiology of occupational injury and musculoskeletal disorders for 5 years, and was the Principal Investigator on this project.
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.