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Treatment Duration and Cost of Work-related Low Back Pain in Korea

Journal of Korean Medical Science
Korean Academy of Medical Sciences (KAMJE)
Publication Date
DOI: 10.3346/jkms.2005.20.1.127
  • Original Article


The purpose of this study is to present the information on the duration of treatment and the cost of work-related low back pain. Using the compensation-database for 1997 work-related low back pain (n=9,277), this study estimated the duration of treatment, the cost of work-related low back pain, the relationship between them, and probability of being off treatment at different intervals. The mean and the median of the treatment duration are 252.6 days and 175 days. The mean and the median of the cost of total insurance benefit are 37,700,000 won and 14,400,000 won. The treatment duration of 51% of the study subjects was less than 6 months and their cost accounted for 10.2% of the total insurance benefit. The subjects who were treated more than 24 months were 5.8% but it accounted for 29.2% of the cost. It was found that approximately 50% of the subjects who will remain on treatment at the end of n months would be off treatment at the end of n+5 months. This study presents the point in time when the low back pain (LBP) workers need to prepare to return to work by forecasting their off-treatment period. From the treat duration and cost perspectives, this study may be utilized as evidence for active management of work-related LBP.

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