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Korean J Occup Environ Med. 2006 Sep;18(3):221-231. Korean. Original Article.
Kang HT , Im HJ , Kim YK , Ju YS , Lee HP , Kim JM , Kwon YJ .
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Korea.
Department of Preventive Medicine, Industrial Medical Center, The Catholic University of Korea, Korea.

OBJECTIVES: This research was conducted to investigate workers'return to work rate after work-related injury or illness and to determine which factors could predict return to work and job retention. METHODS: From the documents held by the six local branches of the Korea Labor Welfare Corporation(KLWP), 2,464 cases of work-related injury or illness which had telephone numbers were identified from September to December, 2003. Data about the employment status was gained from 921 occupationally injured workers through telephone questionnaire and was merged with the electronic data obtained from KLWP with included information of the workers whose worker's compensation period was ended from 2002 to 2004. Finally the data for 516 workers was analysed by logistic regression using SAS 9.0. RESULTS: The return to work rate was 50.3% and the job retention rate was 28.3%. Decreased return to work rate was associated with old age, shorter employment duration, longer treatment duration, higher disability grade, lower average wage and manual worker. Decreased job retention rate was associated with a smaller number of employees, shorter employment duration and work in the construction industry. CONCLUSIONS: This research highlighted the numerous occupationally injured workers who couldn't return to work and the multiple factors that were associated with the return to work or job retention. Based on this and related research, rehabilitation programs which consider the issues of return to work and job retention have to be implemented.

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