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Successful return to work after acquired brain injury: opportunities and barriers from a patient perspective
Örebro University, School of Health Sciences. University Health Care Research Center, Region Örebro County, Örebro, Sweden; Swedish Institute for Disability Research (SIDR), Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7048-1925
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work. University Health Care Research Center, Region Örebro County, Örebro, Sweden; Swedish Institute for Disability Research (SIDR), Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6703-7575
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work. Swedish Institute for Disability Research (SIDR), Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
2016 (English)In: Brain Injury, ISSN 0269-9052, E-ISSN 1362-301X, Vol. 30, no 5-6, p. 516-516Article in journal, Meeting abstract (Other academic) Published
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Abstract [en]

Background: Acquired brain injury (ABI) is often a lifelong disability that entails a marked change in a person’s life. It involves biopsychosocial levels and return to work (RTW) is one of the main goals for the person. Several of those suffering an ABI are of working age. The society and the individuals are both winners if the person could get back to work and sustain working.

Objective: The aim of this study was to increase knowledge about the opportunities and barriers for successful RTW among individuals with ABI.

Methods: Adults who have ABI and had participated in work rehabilitation were interviewed in regard to their experiences of the process. The informants (five females, five males) had participated in work rehabilitation, had successfully RTW and had worked at least 50% in at least a year after the injury. The interviews were transcribed, structured and analysed by latent content analysis with a hermeneutic approach.

Results: Three main themes that influenced RTW after ABI were identified: (i) individually adapted rehabilitation process, (ii) motivation for RTW and (iii) cognitive abilities and inabilities. The results indicate that an individually adapted vocational rehabilitation (VR) process was an important issue. The individuals with ABI actively involved in their own rehabilitation process also required continuous support from the society, the specialists, their employers and colleagues; this support has to be designed for each individual. A moderate level of motivation for RTW was necessary for the best result to RTW, in other words it was important to achieve a balance between too high and too low motivation. Finally, a comprehensive knowledge about the cognitive abilities and inabilities of the individual after ABI helped the individuals and their employers to find compensatory strategies to handle their work tasks. One implication of the findings was the necessity of a good support system and a good VR that functions well and lasts for a longer period. When there are obstacles in the VR process, it is important to have strategies and awareness of how to proceed further.

Conclusions: Consequently, the support built for a person individually, with a balanced motivation, knowledge about the cognitive abilities and awareness of how to proceed further in the process will help to build a successful and sustainable RTW.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2016. Vol. 30, no 5-6, p. 516-516
National Category
Neurology
Research subject
Neurology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-50917DOI: 10.3109/02699052.2016.1162060ISI: 000376388200085OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-50917DiVA, id: diva2:938565
Conference
International Brain Injury Association’s Eleventh World Congress on Brain Injury, The Hague World Forum, The Netherlands, March 2-5, 2016
Available from: 2016-06-17 Created: 2016-06-17 Last updated: 2018-07-14Bibliographically approved

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Matérne, MarieLundqvist, Lars-OlovStrandberg, Thomas

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