Neurobehavioral symptoms may predict employability after moderate-to-severe TBI
For those with moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), finding employment can often be very difficult. According to some estimates, more than 60% of those who have survived a moderate-to-severe TBI
Many survivors live with significant disabilities which can have a significant impact on a person’s employability, but there is evidence that physical and mental disability is just one factor preventing those with moderate-to-severe TBI from finding a job.
According to researchers from the Kessler Foundation, another significant predictor of a TBI survivor’s employment outcome is a person’s neurobehavioral symptoms after a brain injury.
For the study, published in the journal Rehabilitation Psychology, the team evaluated 42 patients diagnosed with moderate or severe TBI who were at least one year into their recovery.
The team divided the participants into two groups: Employed or Unemployed. Then, the participants underwent evaluations assessing their neuropsychological performance and signs of depression or fatigue. Information about each participant’s neurobehavioral symptoms, such as apathy, disinhibition, and executive dysfunction, was gathered using the Frontal Systems Behavior Scale questionnaire.
Caregivers were also asked to provide their own assessment of the participants’ behaviors before and after their brain injury.
Based on the findings, a person’s neurocognition after injury had little impact on their employment. However, the team found significant differences between the groups’ performance on neurobehavioral tests.
“Our results indicate that frontal neurobehavioral symptoms may be predictive of the ability to achieve and maintain employment after TBI,” said Dr. Weber, lead author, and a research scientist at Kessler Foundation. “Developing rehabilitative strategies that address these behaviors could improve employment outcomes,” she noted, “and reduce the burden of care on caregivers and society.”