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J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2014 Sep-Oct;29(5):443-50. doi: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000002.

Return to work following mild traumatic brain injury.

Author information

Department of Neurosurgery, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland (Ms Wäljas and Dr Öhman); University of Tampere Medical School, Tampere, Finland (Ms Wäljas and Drs Hartikainen, Dastidar, Soimakallio, and Öhman); Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School, and Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program, Boston, Massachusetts (Dr Iverson); Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, Bethesda, Maryland (Dr Lange); Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland (Dr Lange); Department of Neurosciences and Rehabilitation and Emergency Department Acuta, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland (Dr Liimatainen); and Medical Imaging Centre of Pirkanmaa Hospital District, Finland (Drs Dastidar and Soimakallio).



To examine factors relating to return to work (RTW) following mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI).


One hundred and nine patients (Age: M = 37.4 years, SD = 13.2; 52.3% women) who sustained an mTBI.


Inception cohort design with questionnaires and neuropsychological testing completed approximately 3 to 4 weeks postinjury.


Emergency Department of Tampere University Hospital, Finland.


Self-report (postconcussion symptoms, depression, fatigue, and general health) and neurocognitive measures (attention and memory).


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.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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