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Original article

Vol. 145 No. 5152 (2015)

Subjective perceptions as prognostic factors of time to fitness for work during a 4-year period after inpatient rehabilitation for orthopaedic trauma

  • Philippe Vuistiner
  • François Luthi
  • Peter Erhart
  • Stefan M Scholz
  • Olivier Dériaz
Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2015;145:w14235


INTRODUCTION: Time to fitness for work (TFW) was measured as the number of days that were paid as compensation for work disability during the 4 years after discharge from the rehabilitation clinic in a population of patients hospitalised for rehabilitation after orthopaedic trauma. The aim of this study was to test whether some psychological variables can be used as potential early prognostic factors of TFW.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A Cox proportional hazards model was used to estimate the associations between predictive variables and TFW. Predictors were global health, pain at hospitalisation and pain decrease during the stay (all continuous and standardised by subtracting the mean and dividing by two standard deviations), perceived severity of the trauma and expectation of a positive evolution (both binary variables).

RESULTS: Full data were available for 807 inpatients (660 men, 147 women). TFW was positively associated with better perceived health (hazard ratio [HR] 1.16, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.13–1.19), pain decrease (HR 1.46, 95% CI 1.30–1.64) and expectation of a positive evolution (HR 1.50, 95% CI 1.32–1.70) and negatively associated with pain at hospitalisation (HR 0.67, 95% CI 0.59–0.76) and high perceived severity (HR 0.72, 95% CI 0.61–0.85).

DISCUSSION: The present results provide some evidence that work disability during a four-year period after rehabilitation may be predicted by prerehabilitation perceptions of general health, pain, injury severity, as well as positive expectation of evolution.


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