Research Reports - Factors associated with return to work in men and women with work-related traumatic brain injury

Disabil Health J. 2016 Jul;9(3):439-48. doi: 10.1016/j.dhjo.2015.12.002. Epub
2015 Dec 13.

Xiong C(1), Martin T(2), Sravanapudi A(2), Colantonio A(3), Mollayeva T(4).

BACKGROUND: Symptoms that persist subsequent to a work-related traumatic brain
injury (wrTBI) influence the ability to return to work (RTW) and indicate areas
of functional disability, as classified in the International Classification of
Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) framework.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to describe the relationship between RTW
status and ICF framework domains in men and women with a wrTBI.
METHODS: A retrospective chart review of 209 consecutive workers with TBI (mild
TBI: 71.8%; mean age: 40.2 ± 11.1, men: 71.3%) was conducted. Workers were
assessed during the chronic post-injury phase, at the neurology service of a
large rehabilitation hospital in Ontario, Canada in 2003. Frequency distributions
were calculated and chi-square tests performed.
RESULTS: At the point of assessment, 78.0% of workers were in receipt of
disability benefits, while the remainder had returned to work on a full- or
part-time basis. Significant differences were observed in the Body Functions and
Structures domain of the ICF model, specifically clinical diagnoses of
depression, anxiety, pain disorders; self-perceived cognitive disturbance, and
certain psychosocial factors (p < 0.05), between workers who had returned to work
and those who had not. When stratified according to sex, these associations
remained significant only in men.
CONCLUSIONS: The factors outlined above should be subject to further TBI
research, as indicators for RTW. The lack of significant findings in women
warrants further exploration of variables within the physical and social
environmental domains of the ICF. 

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