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What Do Injured Workers Think About Their Medical Care and Outcomes After Work Injury?

Rudolph, Linda MD, MPH; Dervin, Kathy MPH; Cheadle, Allen PhD; Maizlish, Neil PhD, MPH; Wickizer, Tom PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: May 2002 - Volume 44 - Issue 5 - p 425-434

Patient satisfaction is an important aspect of quality of care. Little information about injured workers’ satisfaction is available. A survey instrument was developed to assess “What Do Injured Workers Think About Their Medical Care?” Survey domains included access, satisfaction, reports of physician behaviors, and outcomes after work injury. Descriptive analyses were performed on more than 800 responses. Approximately 25% of respondents reported dissatisfaction with care. Satisfaction with choice of provider, interpersonal care, claims handling, and outcomes were major predictors of overall satisfaction. Spanish-speakers were more likely to be dissatisfied with physician communications. Months after injury, many workers reported significant pain and impact on job ability and daily function. Routine evaluation of patient satisfaction with occupational medical care could facilitate quality improvement efforts and informed purchaser and worker choice of occupational health services.

From the Medi-Cal Managed Care Division, California Department of Health Services (Dr Rudolph); the Division of Workers’ Compensation, California Department of Industrial Relations (Ms Dervin); the University of Washington, School of Public Health (Dr Cheadle, Dr Wickizer); and the Community Health Center Network, Oakland, Calif. (Dr Maizlish).

Address correspondence to: Linda Rudolph, MD, Medi-Cal Managed Care Division, Department of Health Services, 714 P Street, Room 950, Sacramento, CA 95814;

This project was partially funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Workers’ Compensation Health Care Initiative.

Copyright © by American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

©2002The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine