Urban-Rural Differences in the Duration of Injury-Related Work Disability in Six Canadian Provinces

J Occup Environ Med. 2020 May;62(5):e200-e207. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001850.


Objective: To examine associations between injury-related work disability duration and urban-rural place of residence and whether associations differed across the disability distribution and by industry sector.

Methods: Workers' compensation claims from six Canadian provinces were extracted between 2011 and 2015. Multivariable quantile regression models tested the associations between urban-rural place of residence and disability days paid between the 50th and 95th percentiles of the distribution.

Results: Compared to workers residing in metropolitan areas, those in all other areas experienced more disability days paid. Urban-rural differences increased toward the upper end of disability distribution and were largest in the construction, and transportation and warehousing sectors.

Conclusion: Tailored interventions for workers in rural areas, particularly those in sectors associated with mobile work environments, may be warranted to reduce inequities in injury-related work disability duration by place of residence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Disabled Persons
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Industry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Injuries / economics
  • Occupational Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Return to Work / economics
  • Return to Work / statistics & numerical data
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sick Leave / economics
  • Sick Leave / statistics & numerical data*
  • Time Factors
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Workers' Compensation / statistics & numerical data

Grants and funding