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Brain Inj. 1997 Jan;11(1):11-24.

Impact of childhood brain injury on work and family finances.

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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Tufts University, School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Parents of children who suffer brain injuries are often surprised by the extent to which work and family finances are disrupted. In this paper, work and financial problems are described, predictors are identified, and ways to minimize problems are discussed. Eighty-two children treated at two Massachusetts trauma centres were given an extensive battery of medical, functional, and psychosocial tests during hospitalization. At 1 and 6 months post-discharge they were retested and their parents were surveyed about work and financial difficulties. Trouble maintaining regular work schedules and injury-related financial problems were common. At highest risk for work and financial problems were families of children with severe injuries who had four to nine impairments, along with children hospitalized > 2 weeks who were not discharged to home. Surprisingly, families with HMO coverage reported significantly fewer financial problems, and this relationship was not due to differences in socioeconomic status or injury severity. Health-care providers need to pay more attention to the potential impact of injury on work and family finances. Providers can help at-risk families muster child-care services, deal effectively with employers and insurance companies, and plan for the future.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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