Moderating factors in return to work and job stability after traumatic brain injury

Academic Article


  • Objective: To examine job stability moderating variables and develop a postinjury work stability prediction model. Design: Multicenter analysis of individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) who returned for follow-up at 1, 2, and 3, or 4 years postinjury, were of working age (between 18 and 62 years of age at injury), and were working preinjury. Setting: Six National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research TBI Model System centers for coordinated acute and rehabilitation care. Participants: A total of 186 adults with TBI were included in the study. Main outcome measures: Job stability was categorized as stably employed (employed at all 3 follow-up intervals); unstably employed (employed at one or two of all three follow-up intervals); and unemployed (unemployed at all three follow-up intervals). Results: After injury, 34% were stably employed, 27% were unstably employed, and 39% were unemployed at all three follow-up intervals. Minority group members, people who did not complete high school, and unmarried people were more likely to be unemployed. Driving independence was highly influential and significantly related to employment stability. A discriminant function analysis, which included age, length of unconsciousness and Disability Rating Scale scores at 1 year postinjury, accurately predicted job stability groupings. Conclusion: Data analysis provided evidence that employment stability is predictable with a combination of functional, demographic, and injury severity variables. Identification of people at risk for poor employment outcomes early on can facilitate rehabilitation planning and intervention.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kreutzer JS; Marwitz JH; Walker W; Sander A; Sherer M; Bogner J; Fraser R; Bushnik T
  • Start Page

  • 128
  • End Page

  • 138
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • 2