Purpose Knowledge regarding the most effective return to work (RTW) approaches after traumatic brain injury (TBI) is lacking. This trial aimed to compare the effectiveness of a combined cognitive and vocational intervention to treatment as usual (TAU) on RTW and work stability after TBI. Methods We performed a parallel-group randomized controlled trial (RCT) at a TBI outpatient clinic at Oslo University Hospital (OUH), Norway. Patients with a history of mild-to-moderate TBI (n=116) aged 18-60 were randomized (1:1) by an independent investigator to receive group-based compensatory cognitive training (CCT) and supported employment (SE) (n=60) or TAU consisting of individualized multidisciplinary treatment (n=56). Participants were enrolled 2-3 months post-injury. The nature of the intervention prevented blinding of patients and therapists, however, outcome assessors were blinded to group allocation. The primary outcome measure was RTW at 3 and 6 months following study inclusion. Secondary outcomes were work percentage, stability, and productivity. The present study provides results from an interim analysis from the first two planned follow ups, while subsequent publications will present results up to 12 months following study inclusion. Results Mixed effects models showed no between-group differences in the RTW proportion, work percentage, and hours worked between CCT-SE and TAU from baseline to 6 months. A significantly higher proportion of participants in CCT-SE had returned to work at 3 months when adjusting for baseline differences. The majority of participants who were employed at 3 and 6 months were stably employed. There was a statistically significant within-group improvement on RTW proportion, hours worked and work percentage in both groups. Conclusions The results revealed no difference between CCT-SE and TAU on work-related outcomes from baseline to 6 months. However, there was a higher RTW proportion in the CCT-SE group compared to TAU at 3 months. Future publications will assess the effectiveness of CCT-SE vs. TAU up to 12 months.
Source: Howe EI, Fure SCR, Løvstad M, Enehaug H, Sagstad K, Hellstrøm T, Brunborg C, Røe C, Nordenmark TH, Søberg HL, Twamley E, Lu J, Andelic N, Frontiers in neurology, Vol. 11, 2020 Nov.
Purpose Individuals with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) may experience protracted symptoms affecting their ability to work. Several actors may facilitate or act as a barrier to a successful return to work (RTW). Methods This qualitative study used semi-structured in-depth interviews with 22 adults with mTBI at 2-5 years post injury, targeting experiences of how different actors facilitated or acted as a barrier in the RTW process, and encompassed the mTBI trajectory from the acute phase to the post-acute phase. A thematic analysis with a hermeneutical phenomenological approach was used to analyse data. Results Three main themes emerged. (1) Worker-employer relationship: Workplace accommodations such as decreased working hours, modified working conditions, and support from co-workers were lacking. (2) The role of the general practitioner: The general practitioner was lacking treatment and referral opportunities and failed to provide the patient with relevant and individualized guidance. (3) Municipal case management: Participants perceived being met with distrust by social workers, follow-up assessments were too frequent, unnecessary, and did not target concussion, and rehabilitation was referred too late. Conclusions Clinical practice guidelines to improve referral to relevant concussion rehabilitation in case of persistent symptoms are needed to inform clinicians, employers, and public institutions to facilitate a successful RTW.
Source: Graff HJ, Deleu NW, Christiansen P, Rytter HM, Neuropsychological rehabilitation, p.1-25, 2020 Jun.
Purpose Individuals who have experienced a work-related mild traumatic brain injury face a variety of challenges when returning to work. Research has demonstrated that the implementation of workplace accommodations can reduce the incidence of workplace disability. Few studies investigate work-related mild traumatic brain injury from injured workers' perspectives, and none examine workplace accommodations in detail. Purpose: This study explores the types of accommodations that individuals receive, and the factors that influence how they are provided and to whom. Methods This study is a qualitative secondary data analysis of 12 telephone interviews. ATLAS.ti software was used to facilitate coding and thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. Results This study makes explicit various accommodations identified as being useful or required by individuals on return to work. Participants identified a gradual return to work, and modified duties, among other accommodations. Components of the workplace social and structural environment, and the occupational context influenced how accommodations were provided and to whom. Conclusions Obtaining appropriate support is of great importance to injured employees, their employers, insurers, and healthcare providers. Stakeholders should be aware of how to successfully identify and access appropriate workplace accommodations to support injured workers on return to work. Return to Work Accommodations • Workplace accommodations reduce the incidence of workplace disability. Workplace accommodations can be formal or informal. Participants identified a gradual return to work, modified duties, self-directed compensatory strategies, and allowances for medical appointments, among other accommodations, as being useful or required. Stakeholders, including healthcare providers involved in rehabilitation, should be aware of how to successfully identify and implement these accommodations to ensure injured workers are supported on return to work.
Source: Gourdeau J, Fingold A, Colantonio A, Mansfield E, Stergiou-Kita M, Disability & Rehabilitation, Vol. 42 (4), p.552-561, 2020 Feb.
Purpose Individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) often present injury-related cognitive and behavioural sequelae hindering a successful professional outcome, even many years after injury. The aim of this study was to investigate cognitive and behavioural factors predicting vocational outcome in the post-acute stages (≥one year) of TBI. Methods A systematic review of empirical research about vocational outcome of individuals with TBI was conducted. Studies published in PubMed and PsycINFO from 1 January 1998 to 31 May 2019 were screened. Only studies using the same injury severity criteria (the Glasgow Coma Scale score and/or the duration of post-traumatic amnesia) were selected. Results We found that (1) self-reported symptoms, (2) Functional Independence Measure and Mayo-Portland Adaptability Inventory Scores, (3) alcohol abuse and mood disorders, and (4) Differentiated Outcome Scale Cognitive Scores in individuals with TBI were highly predictive of the vocational outcome. Conclusions This systematic review emphasized the link between cognitive and behavioural functioning and vocational rehabilitation in individuals with TBI. However, scientific literature lacks cognitive and behavioural models predicting vocational outcome of these individuals, including academic or vocational training. Such models would allow clinicians to improve vocational guidance of these individuals. Implications for rehabilitation Cognitive and behavioural assessment is highly important even many years after traumatic brain injury, especially in a social and professional rehabilitation context. Clinicians should integrate objective measures of cognition and behaviour in post-acute phases of traumatic brain injury. Identifying vocational outcome related cognitive and behavioural patterns of functioning would allow clinicians to improve vocational guidance of adults with traumatic brain injury.
Source: Manoli R, Delecroix H, Daveluy W, Moroni C, Disability And Rehabilitation, p.1-10, 2019 Dec.