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

 

With Hunters & Collectors: The Rolling Stones Announce New Auckland Date

It’s the news New Zealand has been waiting for. The Rolling Stones today confirmed the rescheduled dates and venues for both the Australian and New Zealand legs of their highly anticipated ’14 On Fire’ tour. Now, Frontier Touring is also delighted ... More>>

ALSO:

Flying Things: Conchords, Pretties Help BATS Fly Home

The launch of BATS theatre’s fundraising campaign has taken off – with a bit of help from their friends. And with friends like theirs… An event last night hosted by Te Radar at Wellington’s latest waterfront venue, Shed 6, featured Fly My Pretties and, in a dream-come-true scenario, Flight of the Conchords. More>>

ALSO:

Environment: Zoo’s Own Wētā Workshop Produces Rare Giants For Release

Following unprecedented breeding and rearing success, Auckland Zoo is today releasing 150 of New Zealand’s largest giant wētā, the wētā punga, onto pest-free Motuora Island in the Hauraki Gulf. A further 150 will be released onto Tiritiri Matangi next month. More>>

Girls On Film: Divergent Hits The Big Screen

n January, Catching Fire (the second film in the Hunger Games series) not only became the biggest US box office success of 2013 : it also became the first film starring a female actor (ie. Jennifer Lawrence) to top the annual domestic earnings chart since The Exorcist, 40 years ago. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: No Travel Sanctions For Russian Billionaire’s Superyacht

On the same day that New Zealand announced travel sanctions against selected Russians, a Russian billionaire’s superyacht berthed in Wellington Harbour. More>>

ALSO:

Mental Health: UC Researchers Believe Robots Can Persuade People To Conform

A team of University of Canterbury (UC) researchers and scientists believe robots can persuade people to conform through group pressure... ``Our results showed that robots can induce conformity but to a significantly lesser degree than humans." More>>

NZ On Air: Local Content Holds Steady At 32% Of Television Schedules

Since 1989 NZ On Air has measured local free-to-air television content. The report compares the schedules of the six national free-to-air channels, to observe trends and changes in the local content landscape. More>>

Arts Fest: 2014 New Zealand Festival A Spectacular Celebration

The New Zealand Festival welcomed the world to Wellington over 24 days (21 Feb – 16 Mar) of arts events across the city. “[current figures show] slight increase on the 110,000 tickets issued in 2012. It’s a great result.” More>>

Opera: Happy 70th Birthday Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Our first lady of song who “feels more like at 15 year old” will celebrate her significant birthday on stage at Covent Garden tomorrow night (Friday morning NZT), performing in the Royal Opera House’s production of La fille du régiment (The Daughter of the Regiment) as La Duchess de Crackentorp. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news