Effectiveness of a Web-Based Intervention for Injured Claimants: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Trials, 2013, 14:227

9 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2015

See all articles by Nieke A. Elbers

Nieke A. Elbers

VU University Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Arno Akkermans

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

Pim Cuijpers

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

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: 2013

Abstract

Background: There is considerable evidence showing that injured people who are involved in a compensation process show poorer physical and mental recovery than those with similar injuries who are not involved in a compensation process. One explanation for this reduced recovery is that the legal process and the associated retraumatization are very stressful for the claimant. The aim of this study was to empower injured claimants in order to facilitate recovery.

Methods: Participants were recruited by three Dutch claims settlement offices. The participants had all been injured in a traffic crash and were involved in a compensation process. The study design was a randomized controlled trial. An intervention website was developed with (1) information about the compensation process, and (2) an evidence-based, therapist-assisted problem-solving course. The control website contained a few links to already existing websites. Outcome measures were empowerment, self-efficacy, health status (including depression, anxiety, and somatic symptoms), perceived fairness, ability to work, claims knowledge and extent of burden. The outcomes were self-reported through online questionnaires and were measured four times: at baseline, and at 3, 6, and 12 months.

Results: In total, 176 participants completed the baseline questionnaire after which they were randomized into either the intervention group (n = 88) or the control group (n = 88). During the study, 35 participants (20%) dropped out. The intervention website was used by 55 participants (63%). The health outcomes of the intervention group were no different to those of the control group. However, the intervention group considered the received compensation to be fairer (P <0.01). The subgroup analysis of intervention users versus nonusers did not reveal significant results. The intervention website was evaluated positively.

Conclusions: Although the web-based intervention was not used enough to improve the health of injured claimants in compensation processes, it increased the perceived fairness of the compensation amount.

Keywords: Injury compensation, Web-based intervention, Randomized controlled trial, E-health, Empowerment, Therapeutic Jurisprudence

Suggested Citation

Elbers, Nieke A. and Akkermans, Arno and Cuijpers, Pim and Bruinvels, David J., Effectiveness of a Web-Based Intervention for Injured Claimants: A Randomized Controlled Trial (2013). Trials, 2013, 14:227, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2562342

Nieke A. Elbers (Contact Author)

VU University Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
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

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

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

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