Presentation W P22

W P22 (Poster Presentation):
Examining the epidemiology of work-related traumatic brain injury through a sex/gender lens

Presented by: Vicky Chang

Authors

Chang V1, Ruseckaite R2, Collie A2,3, Colantonio A1,4,5

  1. Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  2. Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  3. Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  4. Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  5. Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Abstract

Background

Work-related traumatic brain injury (wrTBI) is among the most serious occupational injuries. To date, no study has examined the epidemiology of wrTBI in the Australian context. There is also a paucity of research focusing on sex/gender differences in risk factors and outcomes of wrTBI. This study aimed to provide an overview of the epidemiology of wrTBI in the state of Victoria, Australia and to compare incidence, demographics, injury characteristics, in addition to work disability and compensation costs associated with wrTBI by sex.

Methods

This cross-sectional study involved secondary analysis of administrative workers’ compensation claims data obtained from the Victorian WorkCover Authority for the period 2004–2011. Sex- and industry-specific rates were calculated using denominator data derived from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. A descriptive analysis of all variables was conducted for the total wrTBI population and stratified by sex.

Results

Among 4,234 wrTBI claims identified, 63.6% involved males. The annual incidence of wrTBI was estimated at 20.0 per 100,000 workers. The rate for males was 1.43 (95% CI: 1.35–1.53) times that for females, but the gap between the two sexes appeared to have narrowed over time. Compared to males, females were older at time of injury and had lower pre-injury income. Males had higher wrTBI rates than females across most industry sectors, particularly in the construction industry (RR=4.49, 95% CI: 2.39–8.42). For both sexes, the arts and recreation industry experienced the highest rates of wrTBI. The most common mechanism of injury was being struck by/against (53%), followed by falls (24%), assaults and violence (13%), and motor vehicle crashes (7%), with the first two being more common in females. WrTBIs among males were associated with significantly longer duration of work disability and higher claim costs compared to females.

Conclusions

This study provided the first epidemiologic profile of wrTBI in Australia. Sex/gender-based analysis revealed significant differences between males and females in terms of demographics, injury characteristics and outcomes of wrTBI. Recognition of these differences is essential for developing tailored approaches to injury prevention and reducing work disability and economic burdens on the workforce and society.

Schedule Details

Wednesday October 1
13:00 - 14:00 Poster Viewing
Session: Varia