Rejection of workers’ compensation claims may increase depressive symptoms among firefighters with occupational injury: a nationwide study in South Korea

Ja Young Kim, Ji Hwan Kim, Seohyun Yoon, Jong Tae Lee, Seung Sup Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: This study sought to examine whether the experience of occupational injuries was associated with depressive symptoms and whether the rejection of workers’ compensation claims was associated with depressive symptoms among Korean firefighters. Methods: We conducted a nationwide survey of 6793 Korean firefighters in 2015. Based on the experience of occupational injuries and workers’ compensation claims over the past year, respondents were classified into four groups: “Not injured”, “Injured, not applied”, “Injured, applied, but rejected” and “Injured, applied, and accepted.” Depressive symptoms over the preceding week were assessed using the 11-item version of the Centers for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Results: Compared to firefighters who did not get injured, injured firefighters had a higher prevalence of depressive symptoms (PR 2.01, 95% CI 1.83, 2.22) after controlling for confounders including job assignment. Also, when we restricted the analysis to injured firefighters, a higher prevalence of depressive symptoms was observed among “Injured, applied, but rejected” (PR 1.70, 95% CI 1.11, 2.59) group, compared to “Injured, applied, and accepted” group. Conclusions: This finding suggests that rejection of workers’ compensation claims, as well as the experience of occupational injuries, may increase the risk of depressive symptoms among Korean firefighters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1405-1413
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Volume94
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Aug

Keywords

  • Medical benefit application
  • Mental health
  • South Korea
  • Workplace injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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