News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Better Outcomes For Injured New Zealanders Than Ill Ones


Monday 18 March 2013

Better Outcomes For Injured New Zealanders Than Ill Ones: Otago Research

New Zealanders who fall ill experience significantly worse financial and work outcomes than those with a comparable injury, according to new University of Otago research.

Dr Sue McAllister of the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine led the research for her PhD, conducting a comparative study of 109 people under the age of 65 years who had a stroke and compared their outcomes with 429 people who had a similarly debilitating injury.

The study, which is newly published in the international journal Social Science & Medicine, is the first to compare socio-economic consequences of different financial supports after illness or injury in New Zealand.

People with an injury, covered by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), are entitled to up to 80% of their weekly wages while recovering, plus treatment and rehabilitation supports. In contrast, those who have an illness receive treatment costs but no compensation for lost wages beyond limited means-tested benefits.

Study participants were followed up for one year to determine if their outcomes (personal income, income sufficiency to meet everyday needs, standard of living and paid employment) were similar. The two groups in the study were similar (through matching) in age, sex, and functional ability soon after the stroke or injury, so the differences in outcomes found are unlikely to be caused by differences between the two health conditions.

“We found that the median personal income declined by 60% over 12 months for the Stroke Group compared to only a 13% decline in the Injury Group. The proportion of the Stroke Group reporting a low standard of living and insufficient income to meet everyday needs was greater than the Injury Group, after 12 months,” Dr McAllister says.

Surprisingly, a significantly greater proportion of the Injury Group (79%) was back at work after 12 months compared to the Stroke Group (49%), she says.

“This is likely due to active support for return to work by ACC which was not available to the Stroke Group.”

Dr McAllister says a decline in socio-economic status after an illness has consequences not only on the individual themselves, but also on their family.

“The decline can also contribute to a downward spiral into poverty and ill health, therefore identifying ways to mitigate this decline is important.

“Our results show that the extra financial and return-to-work support, available through New Zealand’s ACC scheme, are likely to be the main factors associated with these outcomes.” says Dr McAllister.

She says the findings have implications for welfare policies.

“They suggest we need to give greater attention to rehabilitate people to return to work and independence after an illness such as a stroke, and to provide adequate financial support during the rehabilitation time to protect against decline in socio-economic status.”

Dr McAllister says the original recommendation made in the 1967 Woodhouse Report was for both illness and injury to become part of an ACC-type scheme.

“This never occurred and the apparent unfairness of this situation has been subject to considerable controversy over the years. Our study suggests that these concerns are indeed well-founded,” she says.

Funding: The injury group were recruited from the Prospective Outcomes of Injury Study which is funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand (2007-2013); with co-funding from ACC (2007-2010). Funding for recruitment of the stroke participants came from the University of Otago, Dunedin School of Medicine and Division of Health Sciences.

Publication details:

Do different types of financial support after illness or injury affect socio-economic outcomes? A natural experiment in New Zealand.

Dr Susan McAllister, Dr Sarah Derrett, Dr Rick Audas, Professor Peter Herbison,

Professor Charlotte Paul

Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago

A copy of the paper can be found at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.02.041

www.otago.ac.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Cyclists Net First NZ Gold

New Zealand won a gold meal and two bronzes on the first day of the Commonwealth Games. There was joy and heartbreak in an incredibly full day of sport. Here's how the New Zealanders fared. More>>

Cap Bocage: Anti-Mining Campaign Doco Debuts At NZ Film Festival

Playing at this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival, Cap Bocage is a close-up exploration of the forces that came into play when environmental issues and indigenous rights became intertwined in New Caledonia ... More>>

Film Fest:

More Film:

Sharon Ellis Review: A View From The Bridge

Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge is Circa’s latest big production, it opened on Saturday 19 July and it is a stunning triumph. More>>

Māori Language Week: He Karanga Kia Kaha Ake Te Tīhau Ki Te Reo Māori

The Māori Language Commission wishes to see social media swamped with Māori language tweets and messages for Te Wiki o te Reo Māori using the hashtag #tekupu. More>>

ALSO:

Book Vote: Kiwis Prefer Young Adult & Classics

To compile their Top 100 List for 2014, Whitcoulls again asked New Zealanders to vote for their favourite books and authors. And while classic novels continue to appeal to Kiwi readers, 2014 marks a significant new trend – the increasing popularity of novels for young adults. More>>

ALSO:

Five NZ Cities: Bill Bailey Back To The Southern Hemisphere

The gap between how we imagine our lives to be and how they really are is the subject of Bill’s new show Limboland. With his trademark intelligence and sharp wit, he tells tales of finding himself in this halfway place. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Book Television Is Coming

Carole Beu of The Women’s Bookshop in Auckland, Graham Beattie of The Book Blog and producer Deb Faith of FaceTV have raised enough money via crowd funding at Boosted – just under $7,000 so far – for 12 episodes, which begin production in September, and will be on screen later that month. More>>

Electric Sheep: Light Nelson Exceeds All Expectations

Light Nelson exceeded all expectations drawing over 40,000 people over two nights to the Queens Gardens and surrounds. The event, with over 40 installations from local and national artists, is in its second year, and organisers were hoping they’d top last year’s crowd of 16,000. More>>

MacGyver: Richard Dean Anderson To Attend Armageddon This October

New Zealand’s biggest pulp-culture event, the Armageddon Expo is proud to announce the world’s most recognised DIY action hero will be attending the Auckland event at the ASB Showgrounds from October 24th to 27th. More>>

ALSO:

Barbershop Gold: Māori Party Singing Praises Of The Musical Island Boys

The Maori Party has congratulated four young men on a mission, who in 2002 took up barbershop singing at Tawa College, and tonight took out the Gold Medal in the 2014 International Barbershop Harmony Society competitions in Las Vegas. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news