Does disapproval hurt? Experience of medical benefit application among firefighters injured on the job and its association with depressive symptoms in South Korea

[Speaker] Yoon, Seohyun:1
[Co-author] Kim, Seung-sup:1
1:Department of Public Health Sciences Graduate School of Korea University (Korea(Republic of Korea))

Korean firefighters are not eligible for Worker's compensation benefits. Instead, they can apply for their own medical benefit when injured at work. To examine whether depressive symptoms are associated with experience of the medical benefit application after work-related injury during the past year, we analyzed a nationwide survey of 7,625 firefighters in South Korea. Firefighters were divided into 4 groups based on their injuries over the past year: (1) 'not injured' (2) 'injured, not applied for the benefit', (3) 'injured, applied for the benefit but disapproved', and (4) 'injured, applied for the benefit and approved'. Compared to the first group, the prevalence ratios for depressive symptoms (CES-D) for the second, third, and the fourth group were 1.99 (95% CI: 1.80-2.18), 2.56 (95% CI: 1.72-3.46), and 1.58 (95% CI: 1.22-6.92), respectively. The findings suggest that the experience of disapproval for the medical benefit application may increase depressive symptoms.
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