The study of 61 hand-injured subjects suggested that it is more than surgical and technical excellence that facilitates the return-to-work status among the hand-injured wage earners. Financial need, level of activities of daily living, and participation in occupational therapy were found to be directly related to return-to-work status. Additional findings indicated no difference between the rate of return to work for those whose injuries affected their dominant hand over those who had nondominant hand injures. The amount of medical care needed and whether it was delivered as an outpatient or an inpatient were not associated with the return to work.
The hand-injured subjects’ relevant medical history, participation in occupational therapy, capacity in activities of daily living, desire and ability to return to work, and financial support were quantified through chart audit and interview. Occupational development was measured by using the Moorhead Occupational Work History.