Return to Work and Job Stability After Traumatic Brain Injury
At what rate do individuals return to work after experiencing a traumatic brain injury? What predicts job stability?
Past Studies recognize that individuals with traumatic brain injury can experience long-term difficulties with thinking skills, behavior, and physical mobility. Impairments can prevent individuals with traumatic brain injuries from finding and keeping a job. Because past researchers have used inconsistent research methods, there is a lack of generalizable information about rates of employment and job stability after traumatic brain injury.
This Study focused on 186 adults with mild to severe brain injury who received care in one of six TBI Model Systems rehabilitation centers. All of the participants were employed at the time of injury. The participants’ employment status was examined at follow up visits one through four years after their injury dates. The researchers gathered information by interviewing the participants and examining their medical records. The participants were rated as follows: “stably employed” if they were employed for the three years following their injury; “unstably employed” if they were employed at one or two of the following
The researchers found that 35% of the individuals were employed one year after their injury, 37% after two years, and 42% after three or four years. After completing the three
Who May Be Affected By These Findings
Individuals with traumatic brain injury, health care providers, researchers, and vocational rehabilitation specialists.
The participant group in this study had a greater proportion of individuals with severe traumatic brain injuries and a low proportion of members identified as belonging to an ethnic minority. A more balanced study sample would provide information that could be generalizable to all individuals with traumatic brain injuries.
The researchers found that employment rates increased over time and that unemployment rates decreased over time. Forty-two percent of the participants were employed and 34% of the participants were stably employed three years after their injury date. Individuals who could drive their own vehicles and who scored as having no impairment on the Disability Rating Scale after one year from their injury date were more likely to be stably employed. Those unemployed were most likely to be ethnic minority group members, non-high school graduates, unmarried, unable to drive their own vehicles, and have severe impairments.
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Find This Study
Kreutzer, J.S., Marwitz, J.H., Walker, W., Sander, A., Sherer, M., Bogner, J., Fraser, R., & Bushnik, T. (2003). Moderating factors in return to work and job stability after traumatic brain injury. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, (18), 128-138.