Do Compensation Processes Impair Mental Health? A Meta-Analysis

Injury, Int. J. Care Injured 44 (2013) 674-683

10 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2015

See all articles by Nieke A. Elbers

Nieke A. Elbers

VU University Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Liesbeth Hulst

Utrecht University

Pim Cuijpers

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Clinical Psychology; The EMGO Institute, VU University Medical Center; The Amsterdam Interdisciplinary Center of Law and Health

Arno Akkermans

Amsterdam Law and Behavior Insitute (A-LAB); Amsterdam Centre for Comprehensive Law; Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

David J. Bruinvels

The Society of Occupational Medicine (NVAB) Utrecht; The Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, Academic Medical Center; The Amsterdam Interdisciplinary Center of Law and Health; VU University Amsterdam - Department of Clinical Psychology

Date Written: July 1, 2010

Abstract

Background: Victims who are involved in a compensation rocesses generally have more health complaints compared to victims who are not involved in a compensation process. Previous research regarding the effect of compensation processes has concentrated on the effect on physical health. This meta-analysis focuses on the effect of compensation processes on mental health.

Method: Prospective cohort studies addressing compensation and mental health after traffic accidents, occupational accidents or medical errors were identified using PubMed, EMBASE, PsycInfo, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Library. Relevant studies published between January 1966 and 10 June 2011 were selected for inclusion.

Results: Ten studies were included. The first finding was that the compensation group already had higher mental health complaints at baseline compared to the non-compensation group (standardised mean difference (SMD) = 0.38; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.66 to 0.10; p = .01). The second finding was that mental health between baseline and post measurement improved less in the compensation group compared to the non-compensation group (SMD = 0.35; 95% CI 0.70 to 0.01; p = .05). However, the quality of evidence was limited, mainly because of low quality study design and heterogeneity.

Discussion: Being involved in a compensation process is associated with higher mental health complaints but three-quarters of the difference appeared to be already present at baseline. The findings of this study should be interpreted with caution because of the limited quality of evidence. The difference at baseline may be explained by a selection bias or more anger and blame about the accident in the compensation group. The difference between baseline and follow-up may be explained by secondary gain and secondary victimisation. Future research should involve assessment of exposure to compensation processes, should analyse and correct for baseline differences, and could examine the effect of time, compensation scheme design, and claim settlement on (mental) health.

Keywords: Compensation process, Litigation, Secondary gain, Secondary victimisation, Mental health, Meta-analysis, Therapeutic Jurisprudence

Suggested Citation

Elbers, Nieke A. and Hulst, Liesbeth and Cuijpers, Pim and Akkermans, Arno and Bruinvels, David J., Do Compensation Processes Impair Mental Health? A Meta-Analysis (July 1, 2010). Injury, Int. J. Care Injured 44 (2013) 674-683, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2562340

Nieke A. Elbers (Contact Author)

VU University Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands

Liesbeth Hulst

Utrecht University ( email )

School of Law
Utrecht
Netherlands

Pim Cuijpers

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Clinical Psychology ( email )

Amsterdam, 1081 HV
Netherlands

The EMGO Institute, VU University Medical Center

Amsterdam
Netherlands

The Amsterdam Interdisciplinary Center of Law and Health

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081HV
Netherlands

Arno Akkermans

Amsterdam Law and Behavior Insitute (A-LAB) ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081HV
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://https://research.vu.nl/en/persons/arno-j-akkermans

Amsterdam Centre for Comprehensive Law ( email )

Faculty of Law, Initium Building
De Boelelaan 1077
Amsterdam, 1081HV
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://https://research.vu.nl/en/persons/arno-j-akkermans

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1081 HV
Netherlands
+31205986286 (Phone)
+31205986280 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://research.vu.nl/en/persons/arno-j-akkermans

David J. Bruinvels

The Society of Occupational Medicine (NVAB) Utrecht ( email )

Utrecht
Netherlands

The Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, Academic Medical Center

Amsterdam
Netherlands

The Amsterdam Interdisciplinary Center of Law and Health

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081HV
Netherlands

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Clinical Psychology ( email )

Amsterdam, 1081 HV
Netherlands

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
14
Abstract Views
354
PlumX Metrics