Return to Work and Social Communication Ability Following Severe Traumatic Brain Injury Academic Article uri icon


  • 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.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).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.Communication outcome and awareness of communication deficits play an important role in reintegration to the workplace following TBI.

publication date

  • 2016