Treatment outcome in low back pain patients: do compensation benefits make a difference?
Some evidence suggests that chronic pain patients who receive worker's compensation benefits have a tendency to exaggerate their symptoms and not benefit from treatment. This study compared 110 male chronic low back pain patients receiving either no compensation, time-limited compensation, or unlimited compensation on pretreatment and follow-up variables. The patients who received unlimited compensation tended to have a higher percentage of physician-rated symptom dramatization, to have more pain behavior, and to use more medication than the no-compensation and time-limited compensation patients. At follow-up, fewer patients with unlimited compensation had returned to work as compared with the other groups. These results suggest that time-limited compensation may not affect treatment outcome or interfere with return to work, while unlimited compensation may adversely influence overall treatment outcome and the probability that patients will return to work.
Jamison, RN; Matt, DA; Parris, WC
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