Medically certified work loss, recurrence and costs of wage compensation for back pain: a follow-up study of the working population of Jersey

Br J Rheumatol. 1998 Jan;37(1):82-6. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/37.1.82.


The 1 yr incidence, prevalence and wages compensation costs of work loss due to medically certified back pain in the working population of Jersey were identified by analysis of the Social Security database for the year 1994. A total of 2291 subjects absenting due to back pain during this period were followed for up to 3 yr to identify return to work rates and subsequent absences. Incidence and prevalence rates were 5.6 and 6.3%, respectively. The cost of wages compensation was 1.29 million pounds or 10.5% of such benefits paid. Work loss was greater for the second absence. The rate of return to work was broadly in line with that suggested by the Clinical Standards Advisory Group (CSAG), but the number still absent at 1 yr was less, suggesting that the CSAG figures for long-term absence may have been overestimated. The influence of compensation systems and unemployment on work-related absence due to back pain is highlighted.

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism*
  • Back Pain / economics*
  • Back Pain / epidemiology*
  • England
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / economics
  • Low Back Pain / epidemiology
  • Recurrence
  • Workers' Compensation / economics
  • Workers' Compensation / statistics & numerical data*