[Abstract] Work limitations four years following mild traumatic brain injury: A Cohort Study

Abstract

Objective

To explore employment status, work limitations and productivity loss following mild traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Study Design

Inception cohort study over four years.

Setting

General community.

Participants

245 Adults (>16 years at the time of injury), who experienced a mild TBI and who were employed prior to their injury.

Interventions

Not applicable

Main Outcome Measures

Details of the injury, demographic information and pre-injury employment status were collected from medical records and self-report. Symptoms and mood were assessed one-month post-injury using the Rivermead Post-Concussion Symptom Questionnaire and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Post-injury employment status and work productivity were assessed four-years post-injury using the Work Limitations Questionnaire.

Results

Four-years following mild TBI, 17.3% of participants had exited the workforce (other than for reasons of retirement or to study) or had reduced their working hours compared to pre-injury. A further 15.5% reported experiencing limitations at work as a result of their injury. Average work productivity loss was 3.6% The symptom of ‘taking longer to think’ one month post-injury significantly predicted work productivity loss four years later (β = 0.47, t = 3.79, p = <0.001).

Conclusions

Whilst changes in employment status and difficulties at work are likely over time, the results indicate increased unemployment rates, work limitations and productivity loss in the longer-term following a mild TBI. Identification of cognitive difficulties one month following TBI in working aged adults and subsequent interventions to address these difficulties are required to facilitate work productivity.

Source: Work limitations four years following mild traumatic brain injury: A Cohort Study – Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

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