Healthcare costs and productivity costs of hand and wrist injuries by external cause A population-based study in working-age adults in the period 2008-2012

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Hand and wrist injuries are very common at the Emergency Departments (ED), and among the most costly injury types in the working population. The purpose of this study was to explore the causes of non-trivial hand and wrist injuries (i.e., hand fractures, wrist fractures and complex soft-tissue injuries) in working-age adults in order to identify target areas for prevention. Methods: Data were extracted from the Dutch Injury Surveillance System, from the National Hospital Discharge Registry and from a patient follow-up survey in working-age adults (aged 20-64 years) in the period 2008-2012. An incidence-based cost model was used to estimate healthcare costs, and an absenteeism model for estimating the productivity costs. Total costs were calculated by external cause, subdivided in their main categories (home, sports, work, traffic and violence) and their most important subclasses. Results: Total costs of these injuries in The Netherlands were US $410 million per year, of which 75% (US $307 million) productivity costs. Males represented 66% (US $271 million) of the total costs. Within the male group, the group 35-49 years had the highest contribution to total costs (US $112 million), as well as the highest costs per case (US $10,675). Work-related injuries showed the highest costs per case (US $11,797), however, only 25% of the total costs were work-related. The top five causes in terms of total costs were: accidents at home (falls 23%, contact with an object 17%), traffic (cycling 9%) and work (industrial work 4%, and construction work 4%). Conclusion: Hand and wrist injuries are a major cause of healthcare and productivity costs in working-age adults. To reduce the costs to society, prevention initiatives should be targeted at major contributing causes, that are mainly related to activities at home (falls, contact with an object) and accidents at the road (cycling). (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1478-1482
Number of pages5
JournalInjury-International Journal of the Care of the Injured
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Cite this