Workers Compensation Claimant Survey

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1 CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY ASSESSMENT & CONSULTANCY ABN: Phone: (08) Fax: (08) PSYCHEALTH CENTRE Suite 3, McLachlan Street Darwin NT 0800 GPO Box 107 Darwin NT 0801 Workers Compensation Claimant Survey Prepared by: Cindy Wall Clinical Psychologist Marleesa Ly Research Associate SUITE 3, MCLACHLAN STREET, DARWIN NT 0800 GPO BOX 107 DARWIN NT 0801

2 Participants In total, 131 surveys were returned during October 2013 April Of these, 4 were excluded; 1 was returned blank by the partner of a deceased claimant and 3 were completed by the same individual addressing different aspects of their claim. 127 surveys were included for analysis (60 male, 65 female, 2 unknown). The mean age of participants was 49 years (SD = 11.2 years) with no significant difference in age distribution between male and female participants. Type of Injury Table 1: injury type by gender physical psychological both unknown total male female unknown total Claims for physical injuries were most prevalent with 83 participants (65.9%) lodging a claim for a physical workplace injury. 22 participants (17.5%) made psychological injury claims and 21 participants (16.7%) made claims for both physical and psychological injuries. The majority of physical injury claims were made by males (57.3%), whereas females made the majority of psychological injury claims (81.8%). Of 20 claims for combined physical and psychological injuries, 11 were made by females (55%) compared to 9 claims made by males. The distribution of injury type by gender is shown in Figure 1. Males had a higher proportion of physical injury claims than females (78.3% vs 54.7%). Females had a higher proportion of psychological injury claims compared to males (28.1% vs 6.7%). The proportion of claims for combined injury was similar for both males and females (17.2% and 15% respectively). These gender differences are consistent with the 2012 data. 2

3 Insurer Participants were insured by QBE, Allianz, TIO, CGU, GIO, Woolworths or NT Government/TIO. 6 participants did not report their insurer. The Catholic Church, Coles and Westpac were not represented in this survey (Figure 2). Current Work Status Participants in the survey were most likely to have returned to work full-time (Figure 3). 84 participants reported an intention to return to their pre-injury occupation. Participants with physical injuries were most likely to return to work full time and planned on returning to their pre-injury occupation. Participants with psychological or combined psychological and physical injuries were less likely to have returned to fulltime work or to plan on returning to their pre-injury occupations (Table 2). 3

4 n Table 2: work status by injury type Intend to return to preinjury occupation Returned fulltime Returned partial* unfit Physical (79.5%) 60 (72.3%) 10 (12.0%) 12 (14.5%) Psychological (45%) 8 (36.3%) 7 (31.8%) 7 (31.8%) Both 21 7 (33.3%) 5 (23.8%) 6 (28.6%) 10 (47.6%) *returned on graded return to work program or restricted duties Return to Work 59 participants (46.5%) reported that they had a return to work program or plan, 47 participants (37%) indicated that they did not have a return to work program or plan and 15 participants (11.8%) were unsure if they had a return to work program or plan. Of the 74 participants who indicated they had a return to work plan or were unsure about having one, 53 participants (71.6%) indicated they planned to return to their pre-injury employer, 13 participants (17.6%) planned to return to work with different employers and 6 participants (8.1%) were unsure (Figure 4). Participants were also asked about their level of satisfaction regarding their involvement in the process of identifying when and where they would return to work (Figure 5). These results were consistent with the level of satisfaction seen in last year s survey. 4

5 Conflicting Medical Opinion In 33 cases, participants indicated that there were conflicting medical opinions relating to their workplace injury (Table 3). Table 3: delayed due to different medical opinions Delayed Not delayed Unsure if delayed Total Physical Psychological Both Of participants who reported conflicting medical opinions, 15 were referred for another opinion. On average these participants saw 2.5 doctors (range 1-5). These participants were asked to rate their satisfaction with the referral process between not satisfied and very satisfied. A third of these participants reported being not at all satisfied by their insurer s referral process (Figure 6). 5

6 Income Participants were asked to rate any decrease in income as the result of their injury or illness, of which 41.7% reported no change in income. However, participants suffering psychological or both psychological and physical injuries were more likely to suffer decreased income compared with those with physical injuries. Participants suffering both psychological and physical injuries were more likely to suffer a larger decrease in income than those with a single type of injury (Figure 7). Two thirds of participants reported receiving weekly compensation payments during their claims. Most participants receiving payments felt that the payments were somewhat, quite or very much adequate (Figure 8). 6

7 Services On average, participants accessed 3.1 professional services per claim (range 1-8); claimants with physical injuries accessed an average of 3.0 professional services; psychological injury claims accessed an average of 3.2 professional services; claims for both physical and psychological injuries accessed an average of 3.3 professional services. General practitioners were the most commonly accessed professional services for all injury groups (physical 94%, psychological 95.5%, both 76.2%). After GPs, physiotherapists and psychologists were the most commonly accessed professionals for physical and psychological injuries, respectively. Medical specialists were consulted in 59 claims (33.1%) with orthopaedic surgeons being the most commonly consulted medical specialist (Figure 9). 7

8 8

9 Satisfaction with insurer Participants were asked to rate their satisfaction with their insurer over a number of domains. Participants were asked to rate their level of satisfaction as not at all, a little, somewhat, quite a bit or very much. On average, participants were somewhat satisfied with their insurer (Figure 10). not at all a little somewhat quite a bit very much Satisfaction with employer Participants were asked to rate their satisfaction with their employer over a 9 domains. Participants were asked to rate their level of satisfaction as not at all, a little, somewhat, quite a bit or very much. On average, participants were a little to somewhat satisfied with their employer (Figure 11). 9

10 not at all a little somewhat quite a bit very much Satisfaction with vocational rehabilitation provider 61 participants indicated that a vocational rehabilitation provider was involved in their claim. These participants were asked to rate their satisfaction with their vocational rehabilitation provider over a 9 domains. Participants were asked to rate their level of satisfaction as not at all, a little, somewhat, quite a bit or very much. On average, participants were somewhat to quite a bit satisfied with their vocational rehabilitation provider (Figure 12). not at all a little somewhat quite a bit very much 10

11 Overall satisfaction Participants were asked to rate their overall satisfaction with their claim. Participants were asked to rate their level of satisfaction as not at all, a little, somewhat, quite a bit or very much. Figure 13 shows overall claim satisfaction by injury type. Participants were also asked to rate their overall satisfaction with their claim with regard to 11 domains. Participants were asked to rate their level of satisfaction as not at all, a little, somewhat, quite a bit or very much. Participants with physical injuries were more satisfied over the 11 domains than participants with psychological or both psychological and physical injuries (Figure 14). 11

12 not at all a little somewhat quite a bit very much Figure 15 shows the overall level of satisfaction across the 11 domains irrespective of injury type. not at all a little somewhat quite a bit very much 12

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