Background: The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence and incidence of job-related illness or injury resulting in lost work time among a national cohort of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) professionals. Also, it was hypothesized that individual and work life characteristics were associated with the occurrence of illnesses or injury.
Methods: Data for this analysis were obtained from the Longitudinal Emergency Medical Technician Attributes and Demographics Study (LEADS), a prospective study of EMS professionals. The outcome variable of interest was self-reported absence from their EMS job due to an EMS work related illness or injury. The prevalence and incidence of injury with lost work time was estimated using cross-sectional and follow-up data. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to determine if individual and work life characteristics were associated with occupational injury.
Results: The prevalence of job-related illness or injury with time away from work was estimated at 9.4%, while the 1-year incidence was estimated at 8.1 per 100 EMS providers. The results from the logistic regression model fit to follow-up data indicate that increasing call volume (OR=3.12 for very high vs. moderate, 95% CI 1.40-6.97), an urban work environment (OR=2.79, 95% CI 1.65-4.72) and a history of back problems (OR=1.72, 95% CI 1.06-2.78) were associated with reporting job-related illness or injury.
Conclusions: Results from this analysis provide estimates of the prevalence and incidence of on the job illness and injury resulting in lost work time among a national cohort of EMS professionals.