Introduction This paper reports the results of implementing a pilot case management system for work injuries in Hong Kong. The case management approach was characterized by use of a case manager who worked closely with each of the reported injury cases. The case manager undertook the roles of assessor, referral agent, counselor, work-site liaison, and return-to-work (RTW) expert. Methods A quasi-experimental study design was used. The study compared the RTW and workers' compensation outcomes in injured workers in a cleaning company in a case management group (n = 296) and a conventional rehabilitation group (n = 137). Outcomes of the intervention were followed up at 6 months. Results The results indicated that the RTW rate was 97.0% and 94.2% for the case management and conventional rehabilitation groups respectively, with no significant differences between them. Participants in the case management group had significantly fewer days of sick leave (mean = 27.5 and 41.6 days, respectively) and lower compensation costs (mean = HK$7,212.2 and $20,617.3, respectively) than those in the comparison group. Age of the participants was found to influence the outcomes with those who were between 41 and 50 years old and received case management intervention had shorter sick leave and lower cost of compensation than their conventional rehabilitation counterpart. The majority of the participants who had returned to work in both the case management (95.8%) and the conventional rehabilitation (96.2%) groups were found to maintain their work status 6 months after the intervention. Implications The findings suggested that applying the case management approach to the Hong Kong workers' compensation system was more effective overall. Nevertheless, the inherent problems associated with implementing such an approach within the existing system, which focuses on compensation and medical interventions, remained unresolved. Copyright © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
CitationLai, H.-S., & Chan, C. C. H. (2007). Implementing a pilot work injury management program in Hong Kong. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 17, 712-726. doi: 10.1007/s10926-007-9110-3
- Case management
- Workers' compensation
- Injured workers
- Occupational rehabilitation