Research Reports - Return to Work and Social Communication ability following traumatic brain injury

J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2016 Apr 28:1-10. doi: 10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-15-0025.
[Epub ahead of print]

Douglas JM, Bracy CA, Snow PC.

Purpose: Return to competitive employment presents a major challenge to adults
who survive traumatic brain injury (TBI). This study was undertaken to better
understand factors that shape employment outcome by comparing the communication
profiles and self-awareness of communication deficits of adults who return to and
maintain employment with those who do not.
Method: Forty-six dyads (46 adults with TBI, 46 relatives) were recruited into 2
groups based on the current employment status (employed or unemployed) of
participants with TBI. Groups did not differ in regard to sex, age, education,
preinjury employment, injury severity, or time postinjury. The La Trobe
Communication Questionnaire (Douglas, O'Flaherty, & Snow, 2000) was used to
measure communication. Group comparisons on La Trobe Communication Questionnaire
scores were analyzed by using mixed 2 × 2 analysis of variance (between factor:
employment status; within factor: source of perception).
Results: Analysis yielded a significant group main effect (p = .002) and a
significant interaction (p = .004). The employed group reported less frequent
difficulties (self and relatives). Consistent with the interaction, unemployed
participants perceived themselves to have less frequent difficulties than their
relatives perceived, whereas employed participants reported more frequent
difficulties than their relatives.
Conclusion: Communication outcome and awareness of communication deficits play an
important role in reintegration to the workplace following TBI. 

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