Diagnosis-specific sickness absence among injured working-aged pedestrians: a sequence analysis
Journal article, 2023
BACKGROUND: The knowledge about the long-term consequences in terms of sickness absence (SA) among pedestrians injured in a traffic-related accident, including falls, is scarce. Therefore, the aim was to explore diagnosis-specific patterns of SA during a four-year period and their association with different sociodemographic and occupational factors among all individuals of working ages who were injured as a pedestrian. METHODS: A nationwide register-based study, including all individuals aged 20-59 and living in Sweden, who in 2014-2016 had in- or specialized outpatient healthcare after a new traffic-related accident as a pedestrian. Diagnosis-specific SA (> 14 days) was assessed weekly from one year before the accident up until three years after the accident. Sequence analysis was used to identify patterns (sequences) of SA, and cluster analysis to form clusters of individuals with similar sequences. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for association of the different factors and cluster memberships were estimated by multinomial logistic regression. RESULTS: In total, 11,432 pedestrians received healthcare due to a traffic-related accident. Eight clusters of SA patterns were identified. The largest cluster was characterized by no SA, three clusters had different SA patterns due to injury diagnoses (immediate, episodic, and later). One cluster had SA both due to injury and other diagnoses. Two clusters had SA due to other diagnoses (short-term and long-term) and one cluster mainly consisted of individuals with disability pension (DP). Compared to the cluster "No SA", all other clusters were associated with older age, no university education, having been hospitalized, and working in health and social care. The clusters "Immediate SA", "Episodic SA" and "Both SA due to injury and other diagnoses" were also associated with higher odds of pedestrians who sustained a fracture. CONCLUSIONS: This nationwide study of the working-aged pedestrians observed diverging patterns of SA after their accident. The largest cluster of pedestrians had no SA, and the other seven clusters had different patterns of SA in terms of diagnosis (injury and other diagnoses) and timing of SA. Differences were found between all clusters regarding sociodemographic and occupational factors. This information can contribute to the understanding of long-term consequences of road traffic accidents.