Research Reports - Prognostic factors of return to work after traumatic or non-traumatic acquired brain injury

Disabil Rehabil. 2015 Jul 3:1-9

Donker-Cools BH(1), Wind H, Frings-Dresen MH

PURPOSE: To investigate and to determine evidence of prognostic factors for
return to work (RTW) after acquired brain injury (ABI).
METHOD: A systematic literature search was conducted in PubMed (2008-2014),
applying terms for ABI and RTW. In addition, studies published after 2003 of a
previous review on the same topic were added. The methodological quality of the
included studies was assessed and evidence was classified.
RESULTS: Twenty-seven studies were included. There is strong evidence that a high
education level is positively associated with RTW after traumatic ABI; a low
education level, unemployment and length of stay in rehabilitation are negatively
associated, and a clear tendency has been deduced from the studies that conscious
state in the Emergency Department is not associated with RTW. After non-traumatic
ABI, there is strong evidence that independence in activities of daily living is
positively associated with RTW and aetiology of stroke is not.
CONCLUSIONS: This study confirms earlier findings that after both traumatic and
non-traumatic ABI injury related factors in the Emergency Department are not
associated with RTW. In addition, it provides further evidence that personal
factors after traumatic ABI and activity-related factors after non-traumatic ABI
are strongly associated with RTW. Implications for Rehabilitation We found strong
evidence for a significant association between RTW and personal factors
(education level, unemployment) after traumatic ABI, and activities of daily
living (ADL) after non-traumatic ABI. We advise to focus on work-related
activities during the RTW process besides ADL-training and pay attention to and
support patients at risk for not returning to work.

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