Occupational health patients’ parallel use of primary- and secondary-care services and linkage to work disability: A follow-up study in Finland

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Abstract

Aims: This study aimed to investigate occupational health (OH) primary-care patients’ use of other health-care services and whether parallel use affects their likelihood to have sickness absences (SA) or disability pensions (DP).
Methods: Primary-care services in Finland are provided through three parallel health-care sectors, all available to the working population: public, private and OH sectors. Patients may also be referred to secondary care. This follow-up study combines real-world medical record data containing SA data from a nationwide OH provider with health-care attendance data from public and
private primary-care sectors and public secondary care, sociodemographic data and DP decisions. Patients between 18 and 68 years of age who used OH primary care at least once during the study years 2014–2016 were included. The total study population comprised 59,650 patients. Odds ratios were used to analyse association between parallel service use and SA or DP.
Results: Females and patients with a lower educational level were more likely to use services in other health-care sectors in addition to OH than others. Those patients who used any other health-care sector in addition to OH primary care had an increased likelihood of having long SA or receiving DP.
Conclusions: OH primary-care patients using the services of several health-care sectors in parallel have an increased likelihood of receiving disability benefits – either SA or DP. There is need for care coordination to ensure adequate measures for work-ability support.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Early online date2 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Occupational health services
  • primary health care
  • health-care utilisation
  • working age
  • work disability
  • work ability
  • sick leave
  • insurance medicine
  • intersectoral collaboration

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

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