Research Reports - Posttraumatic headache and its impact on return to work After mild traumatic brain injury

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2016 Jun 17. [Epub ahead of print]

Dumke HA(1).

OBJECTIVE: To examine the value of posttraumatic headaches in predicting return
to work (RTW) in patients with mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI).
SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: A total of 109 participants recruited from an
outpatient head injury rehabilitation center, British Columbia, Canada.
DESIGN: Logistic regression analyses of secondary data.
MAIN MEASURE: The Numerical Pain Rating Scale (NPRS), measure of headache
intensity. Nine resulting NPRS scores were used to predict successful versus
unsuccessful RTW.
RESULTS: The largest effect size [odds ratio Exp(B)] value of 0.474] indicated
that the odds of returning to work successfully are more than cut in half for
each unit increase in NPRS rating.
CONCLUSION: To the author's knowledge, this is the first study of the impact of
headache intensity on RTW for patients with MTBI. Posttraumatic headache severity
after MTBI should be taken into account when developing models to predict RTW for
this population. Headache intensity may act as a confounding variable for at
least some injury characteristics (eg, cognitive functioning) and may add to the
inconsistencies in the TBI and MTBI literature. Results may be utilized to guide
rehabilitation efforts in planning RTW for patients with MTBI. 

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