Back Disorders in Union Carpenters

Summary

Principal Investigator: H J Lipscomb
Affiliation: Duke University Medical Center
Country: USA
Abstract: DESCRIPTION: We propose to study back disorders among high risk carpenters, building upon prior research utilizing a historical cohort of union carpenters in Washington State. The existing cohort of 16,215 carpenters followed from 1989-98 will be updated to include new entries through 2003. Workers' compensation (WC) and private health insurance claims will be updated for the existing cohort and obtained for new entries through the Washington Dept of Labor and Industries and the Carpenters' Trusts of Western Washington, respectively. The union will provide hours worked by person and a marker of eligibility for union insurance coverage by month. The data, linked on an individual basis, will provide a comprehensive picture of the WC experience of this historical cohort, their health care utilization through both WC and their private union insurance, and measures of time at risk. Claims and costs for work-related back disorders over the15 year period will be identified, as will those for treatment through private insurance. Incident and recurrent WC claims will be defined and rates calculated. Using survival techniques we will explore whether the risk of recurrence varies for different definitions of an incident case based on time off work, ICD9 diagnoses, nature or mechanism of injury. Time window analyses will be used to determine whether there are periods of time when risk of recurrence is greater following return to work. Using a case-control approach, back injuries that result in prolonged loss of time from work will be contrasted with those resulting in more rapid return to work. Analyses of utilization and costs will define resource use for back injuries over time across both payment systems. Finally, a series of focus groups will be conducted to inform results and explore issues related to return to work following injury not available in the administrative data. This work will provide a better understanding of the magnitude, nature, and societal burden of back disorders among construction carpenters, a group particularly challenging to study. The analyses will provide important information on the more costly work-related injuries and risk factors for recurrent vs. initial injuries, and insight into the interplay of care across workers' compensation and private insurance coverage. The project addresses a number of areas of expressed interest to NIOSH including construction workers, back disorders, surveillance methods and health services research.
Funding Period: 2004-06-01 - 2008-12-31
more information: NIH RePORT

Top Publications

  1. ncbi Back injuries among union carpenters in Washington State, 1989-2003
    Hester J Lipscomb
    Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina27710, USA
    Am J Ind Med 51:463-74. 2008
  2. ncbi Incident and recurrent back injuries among union carpenters
    H J Lipscomb
    Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA
    Occup Environ Med 65:827-34. 2008
  3. ncbi Health care utilization for musculoskeletal back disorders, Washington State union carpenters, 1989-2003
    Hester J Lipscomb
    Department of Community and Family Medicine, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA
    J Occup Environ Med 51:604-11. 2009
  4. ncbi Compensation costs of work-related back disorders among union carpenters, Washington State 1989-2003
    Hester J Lipscomb
    Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA
    Am J Ind Med 52:587-95. 2009
  5. ncbi Predictors of delayed return to work after back injury: A case-control analysis of union carpenters in Washington State
    Kristen L Kucera
    Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27705, USA
    Am J Ind Med 52:821-30. 2009
  6. ncbi Who is paying the bills? Health care costs for musculoskeletal back disorders, Washington State Union Carpenters, 1989-2003
    Hester J Lipscomb
    Department of Community and Family Medicine, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA
    J Occup Environ Med 51:1185-92. 2009

Detail Information

Publications6

  1. ncbi Back injuries among union carpenters in Washington State, 1989-2003
    Hester J Lipscomb
    Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina27710, USA
    Am J Ind Med 51:463-74. 2008
    ....
  2. ncbi Incident and recurrent back injuries among union carpenters
    H J Lipscomb
    Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA
    Occup Environ Med 65:827-34. 2008
    ....
  3. ncbi Health care utilization for musculoskeletal back disorders, Washington State union carpenters, 1989-2003
    Hester J Lipscomb
    Department of Community and Family Medicine, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA
    J Occup Environ Med 51:604-11. 2009
    ..Private health care utilization rates for musculoskeletal back disorders were contrasted to rates of work-related injuries or disorders for a large cohort of union carpenters over a 15-year period...
  4. ncbi Compensation costs of work-related back disorders among union carpenters, Washington State 1989-2003
    Hester J Lipscomb
    Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA
    Am J Ind Med 52:587-95. 2009
    ..We measured resources used to provide medical care and to estimate lost productivity represented by payments for lost work time or impairment for work-related back injuries among a large cohort of union carpenters over 15 years...
  5. ncbi Predictors of delayed return to work after back injury: A case-control analysis of union carpenters in Washington State
    Kristen L Kucera
    Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27705, USA
    Am J Ind Med 52:821-30. 2009
    ..Logistic regression models estimated odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (OR, 95% CI) of delayed return to work (DRTW)...
  6. ncbi Who is paying the bills? Health care costs for musculoskeletal back disorders, Washington State Union Carpenters, 1989-2003
    Hester J Lipscomb
    Department of Community and Family Medicine, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA
    J Occup Environ Med 51:1185-92. 2009
    ..Factors associated with private health insurance payment rates for musculoskeletal back disorders were examined among a 15-year cohort of union carpenters. Payment patterns were contrasted with work-related back injury rates over time...