Objective: This study examines factors associated with a mental/behavioral disorder-related short-term disability episode versus a physical disorder-related disability episode using administrative longitudinal data.
Methods: Logistic regression models were used to estimate the association between worker characteristics and different types of disability episodes.
Results: A previous disability episode is significantly associated with a current disability. Nevertheless, mental/behavioral disorders are related to higher odds of another episode. A worker with a previous disability episode related to a mental/behavioral disorder is almost 7× more likely to have another disability episode related to a mental disorder/behavioral disorder.
Conclusions: One of the critical factors associated with a disability episode is a history of a previous disability episode. Relapse is a critical factor and should be considered in the design of occupational health programs.