Stressful Compensation Claims Contribute to Poor Recovery After Injury

2/14/2014 in News

An Australian study published in JAMA Psychiatry (subscription required) found that "compensation claimants who have stressful claims recover more slowly than those who have less stressful experiences."  This probably comes as no surprise to those involved in worker's compensation and liability claims.  Interestingly though, the lead author's take was unexpected.  “Reducing the stress claimants experience in claims processes has the potential to help to improve their recovery, and result in better outcomes,” said Dr. Genevieve Grant.    The question for those involved in worker's compensation and personal injury claims is how to balance the benefits of streamlining claims (and hence reducing stress and costs) with the obligation to accept only legitimate claims.  While there is no easy answer to this problem, the results of the Australian study, if replicated, will at least add objective evidence to the calculation.  And objective decision-making is always better than the alternative.


Guest commented on Friday, February 14, 2014 11:09 AM


Not only is this an important message for insurance providers, but also for the employer. The report cited one issue is ensure the claimant(employee) has access to information about the process and their entitlements. I would agree, especially in WC and for employees who have never had an WC injury, reviewing the process and highlighting what can be expected throughout the initial steps of a WC claim is very important and does provide relief for the employee. Good communication between adjuster and claimant is very important. I find claimants/employees are less stressed when he/she is able to contact an adjuster easily and communication is timely - regardless if the information is positive or negative. In short, simply knowing what is going on and why easies the overall stress.

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