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Original Contribution
August 1973

Measurement of Impairment and Disability in Dermatology

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore.

Arch Dermatol. 1973;108(2):207-209. doi:10.1001/archderm.1973.01620230007002

Occupational dermatoses cause the highest percentage of industrial disabilities and the greatest number of man days of labor lost from nonfatal disease. The terms "impairment" and "disability" are recognized as distinct entities by the American Medical Association; however, such distinction is not uniformly accepted by Workmen's Compensation Commissions, Civil Courts, or Welfare Agencies. Financial settlements are not based on impairment but are awarded on the extent of disability. Disability determination is an evaluation of present and future ability to engage in gainful activity as it is affected by impairment in relation to other factors. Except for impairment, other factors which modify disability existed prior to development of skin lesions. The system devised for computation of disability has undesirable features, but represents an improvement over the present arbitrary manner used in making such decisions.

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