Research Reports - Return to work following mild traumatic brain injury
J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2013 Nov 20
Wäljas M, Iverson GL, Lange RT, Liimatainen S, Hartikainen KM, Dastidar P, Soimakallio S, Ohman J
OBJECTIVE:: To examine factors relating to return to work (RTW) following mild
traumatic brain injury (mTBI).
PARTICIPANTS:: One hundred and nine patients (Age: M = 37.4 years, SD = 13.2;
52.3% women) who sustained an mTBI.
DESIGN:: Inception cohort design with questionnaires and neuropsychological
testing completed approximately 3 to 4 weeks postinjury.
SETTING:: Emergency Department of Tampere University Hospital, Finland.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:: Self-report (postconcussion symptoms, depression,
fatigue, and general health) and neurocognitive measures (attention and memory).
RESULTS:: The cumulative RTW rates were as follows: 1 week = 46.8%, 2 weeks =
59.6%, 3 weeks = 67.0%, 4 weeks = 70.6%, 2 months = 91.7%, and 1 year = 97.2%.
Four variables were significant predictors of the number of days to RTW: age,
multiple bodily injuries, intracranial abnormality at the day of injury, and
fatigue ratings (all P < .001). The largest amount of variance accounted for by
these variables in the prediction of RTW was at 30 days following injury (P <
.001, R = 0.504). Participants who returned to work fewer than 30 days after
injury (n = 82, 75.2%) versus more than 30 days (n = 27, 24.8%) did not differ on
demographic or neuropsychological variables.
CONCLUSIONS:: The vast majority of this cohort returned to work within 2 months.
Predictors of slower RTW included age, multiple bodily injuries, intracranial
abnormality at the day of injury, and fatigue.