Research Reports - Quality of return to work in patients with mild traumatic brain injury

Brain Inj. 2017 Sep 5:1-9. doi: 10.1080/02699052.2017.1332783. [Epub ahead of
print]

Chu SY(1), Tsai YH(2), Xiao SH(3), Huang SJ(4), Yang CC(5).

PRIMARY OBJECTIVE: Although 'return to work' (RTW) has been always emphasized for
patients with mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), methodological drawbacks
weakened its representativeness. This study thus aims to evaluate the 'work
quality' (WQ) which originated from 'working status' and 'working stability'
simultaneously, and to further explore the associations among post-concussion
symptoms (PCS), neuropsychological functions and WQ.
METHODS AND PROCEDURES: A total of 179 participants, which included 132 patients
with MTBI and 47 healthy participants, were prospectively recruited. The work
quality index (WQI) was developed to evaluate WQ. All patients were evaluated for
their PCS, neuropsychological functions and WQ at two weeks post-injury (T1),
while PCS and WQ were recorded by one month post-injury (T2).
RESULTS: More than half of the patients were not able to retain their pre-injury
jobs at T1, while 26% of the patients still failed to regain previous works at
T2. Interestingly, WQ was significantly associated with educational levels and
physical PCS, such as headache and dizziness.
CONCLUSIONS: Simultaneously considering working status and stability to reveal
the quality of RTW is merited. A higher educational level might be a protective
factor for successful RTW, and ameliorating physical symptoms is also necessary
to get favourable WQ by one month after MTBI. 

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