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Factors Associated with Return To Work in Men & Women With Work-Related Traumatic Brain Injury

After a traumatic brain injury (TBI), persisting symptoms can limit an individual’s ability to return to work. Some TBI may even cause functional disability, which may prevent a worker from performing his or her pre-injury work duties.

A recent Canadian study examined the relationship between return-to-work (RTW) status and the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) framework. Researchers assessed 209 workers, all of whom sustained work-related TBI, during the post-injury recovery period. They found that more than three-quarters of participants who had sustained a work-related TBI received disability benefits, while the remaining group had already returned to work. In comparison to the participants who had already returned to work, the participants who received disability benefits scored significantly higher on ICF domains of psychological distress, pain disorders, and cognitive impairment. These differences were only significant for male participants.

Loss of work can have a considerably negative impact on a patient’s life during the post-TBI period. When guiding these individuals through the return-to-work process, vocational rehabilitation professionals should consider these factors associated with successful RTW.

Source: Xiong C, Martin T, Sravanapudi A, et al. Factors associated with return to work in men and women with work-related traumatic brain injury. Disability and Health Journal. (June 2016).

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