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Maori recover slower from injury: study

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/04/2017

Maori typically take longer to recover from major injuries and are at risk of longer term disability, a new study has found.

The University of Otago study found 19 per cent of Maori were still experiencing a disability two years after an injury.

This is because they may have a lower income or face greater difficulty accessing healthcare services, lead researcher Dr Emma Wyeth said.

Based on Accident Compensation Corporation data, the study also found existing health conditions played a major part in an injury recovery time.

"People with an inadequate household income, pre-injury or with two or more chronic health conditions [are] at increased risk of disability," Dr Wyeth said.

She said even when Maori are able to access health services, including ACC funded services, they still often end up with less successful treatment outcomes compared to non-Maori.

The latest study published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health built on previous research showing Maori experience at least twice as much injury related "health burden" than non-Maori, Ms Wyeth said.

She said her team was now focusing on ways to improve how Maori avoid long term disability and recover from major injuries.

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