Impact of Timing of Mental Health Interventions for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Patients: A 10-year Matched Cohort Study of Workers' Compensation Claims

J Occup Environ Med. 2022 Jun 1;64(6):458-464. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000002512.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Brain Concussion*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Workers' Compensation*