Workplace accommodations following work-related mild traumatic brain injury: what works?

Publication type
Journal article
Authors
Gourdeau J Fingold A Colantonio A Mansfield E Stergiou-Kita M
Date published
2020 Feb 01
Journal
Disability and Rehabilitation
Volume
42
Issue
4
Pages
552-561
Open Access?
No
Abstract

Background: Individuals who have experienced a work-related mild traumatic brain injury face a variety of challenges when returning to work. Research has demonstrated that the implementation of workplace accommodations can reduce the incidence of workplace disability. Few studies investigate work-related mild traumatic brain injury from injured workers' perspectives, and none examine workplace accommodations in detail.Purpose: This study explores the types of accommodations that individuals receive, and the factors that influence how they are provided and to whom.Materials and methods: This study is a qualitative secondary data analysis of 12 telephone interviews. ATLAS.ti software was used to facilitate coding and thematic analysis was used to analyze the data.Results: This study makes explicit various accommodations identified as being useful or required by individuals on return to work. Participants identified a gradual return to work, and modified duties, among other accommodations. Components of the workplace social and structural environment, and the occupational context influenced how accommodations were provided and to whom.Conclusions: Obtaining appropriate support is of great importance to injured employees, their employers, insurers, and healthcare providers. Stakeholders should be aware of how to successfully identify and access appropriate workplace accommodations to support injured workers on return to work.Implications for rehabilitation Return to Work Accommodations * Workplace accommodations reduce the incidence of workplace disability. * Workplace accommodations can be formal or informal. * Participants identified a gradual return to work, modified duties, self-directed compensatory strategies, and allowances for medical appointments, among other accommodations, as being useful or required. * Stakeholders, including healthcare providers involved in rehabilitation, should be aware of how to successfully identify and implement these accommodations to ensure injured workers are supported on return to work