Objective: To examine the impact of timing of mental health interventions in workers' compensation claims for mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI).
Methods: A 10-year matched retrospective cohort study of MTBI claims. Cases who started treatment within 3 months of the date of injury were hard matched to cases who started treatment more than 3 months after the date of injury. Outcomes were incremental cost difference and loss of earnings benefit duration 1 year after first intervention.
Results: Seventeen percent (17%) of patients received mental health interventions. The early mental health intervention group had lower mean costs (incremental difference$1580 [95% CI: $5718 to $2085]) and shorter durations of disability (off loss of earnings) (59.2% versus 46.6%, NS). Sensitivity and stratified analyses demonstrated the same trend.
Conclusions: Early mental health interventions for MTBI patients may lead to reduced health care costs and shorter durations of disability.
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