Return to work after work-related traumatic brain injury
Issue title: Special Section: Unintentional Injury Following Traumatic Brain Injury
Guest editors: Juliet Haarbauer-Krupa
Article type: Research Article
Authors: Colantonio, Angelaa; b; * | Salehi, Sarac | Kristman, Vickid; e | Cassidy, J. Davidf | Carter, Angelab | Vartanian, Oshing | Bayley, Markb | Kirsh, Bonniea | Hébert, Debbiea; b | Lewko, Johnh | Kubrak, Olenai | Mantis, Stevej | Vernich, Leek
Affiliations: [a] Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto, Toronto ON, Canada | [b] Toronto Rehabilitation Institute-University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada | [c] Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada | [d] Department of Health Sciences, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada | [e] Institute for Work & Health, Toronto, ON, Canada | [f] Toronto Western Research Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada | [g] Department of Psychology, University of Toronto Scarborough, Toronto, ON, Canada | [h] Centre for Research in Human Development, Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON, Canada | [i] Public Services Health & Safety Association, Toronto, ON, Canada | [j] Research Action Alliance on the Consequences of Work Injury, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada | [k] Research Service Unit, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
Correspondence: [*] Address for correspondence: Angela Colantonio, 160-500 University Avenue, Toronto, ON M5G 1V7, Canada. Tel.: +1 416 978 1098; Fax: +1 416 946 8570; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Work-related traumatic brain injury (wrTBI) comprises up to 24% of TBIs, yet relatively little is known about it even though wrTBI incurs high costs to employers, insurers, and injured. OBJECTIVES: To compare demographic, clinical, and occupation-related factors following mild-to-moderate TBI of those who successfully returned to work (RTW) versus those who did not, and to determine perceived facilitators of and barriers to RTW. METHODS: Retrospective cohort study from a consecutive sample of persons with TBI seen in an outpatient assessment clinic. Surveys were mailed to eligible potential participants. Consenting participants were interviewed by telephone or returned a completed survey via mail. RESULTS: Fifty of 116 eligible individuals participated in the study. Half of the participants returned to work. Participants in this group were significantly younger and had more years of education than the no-RTW group. The most common factors perceived to assist the RTW group were support of family and friends (92%) and of treatment providers (80%), and employers who provided accommodations (76%). Difficulty thinking and concentrating (94%) and fatigue (94%) were the most common barriers to RTW. CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights the importance of support from family, friends and employers as RTW facilitators. These factors merit further investigation in TBI rehabilitation studies.
Keywords: Traumatic brain injury, return to work, facilitators, barriers
Journal: NeuroRehabilitation, vol. 39, no. 3, pp. 389-399, 2016