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Injured workers' perspectives on claiming compensation for work -related injuries

Purdue University
Publication Date
  • Health Sciences
  • Occupational Health And Safety|Health Sciences
  • Rehabilitation And Therapy|Psychology
  • Psychometrics
  • Design
  • Medicine
  • Psychology


The purpose of this study was to determine injured workers' perspectives about the worker's compensation process. The research involved both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. Phase I of this study consisted of a qualitative research process in which 19 individuals were interviewed while they were undergoing therapy in three outpatient rehabilitation programs in the Indianapolis, Indiana, area. These individuals were followed for a minimum of two months after discharge from therapy. Ten of these workers were determined to be key participants, or those who displayed unresolved issues of concern about their compensation experience. “Caring and Concern for My Well-Being” arose as the core category of concern for workers involved in this aspect of the study. This issue of Caring and Concern was divided into three subcategories and spanned across four dimensions of the compensation experience. The subcategories included: Trust/Injury Legitimacy Issues; Individual Consideration of the Personal Costs and Long-Term Consequences of the Injury; and Education About the Process and Options Available. The four dimensions of the compensation experience included: Attitudes in General; Perceived Quality of Health Care; Work Place and Employer Support/Job Security; and Laws and Operations of the Compensation System. The issue of Trust/Injury Legitimacy arose as a main issue of concern during Phase I of this research. Therefore, during Phase II of this study, a questionnaire was designed to measure injured workers' “Perceived Injury Legitimacy” (PIL Questionnaire). This questionnaire was administered to 329 participants as they were going through rehabilitation at five outpatient therapy clinics. The PIL Questionnaire was found to be reliable (alpha = .96) and showed evidence of construct and convergent validity. It correlated most highly with measures of work place relationship satisfaction (r = .77) and measures of mental health (r = .33). The PIL Questionnaire was not found to be a consistent predictor of return-to-work outcomes. Overall, this sample of workers displayed high levels of perceived legitimacy. ^

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