Date of Conferral
Brian L. Ragsdale
This study sought to determine how the severity of injury and cause of injury influences engagement in productive work. Using archival research, 1,322 records of adults diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) were examined for the following variables: engagement in productive employment, job stability, severity of injury, cause of injury, satisfaction with life, and participation activities after TBI. Analysis of variance revealed significant differences in job stability and engagement in productive work between pre-injury and postinjury, which suggests that TBI has an impact on job stability. While no statistically significant differences were found in engagement in productive work among participants with mild, moderate, or severe TBI, there were significant differences in engagement in productive work based on cause of injury. Specifically, the study found that patients with vehicle-related TBI had significantly lower job engagement in productive work when compared with other causes of TBI. In addition, the multiple regression indicated that severity of injury, measured using Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, is a significant predictor of employment outcome when severity of injury is treated as a continuous variable rather than a categorical variable that involves mild, moderate, and severe TBI. This finding suggests that patients with mild TBI may have different employment outcomes based on their GCS score; the case is the same for patients with moderate and severe TBI. Findings from this research have implications for employers, service providers, and policy makers. Employers must understand that TBI reduces employee productivity, which can be increased by focusing on participation activities and life satisfaction efforts. Rehabilitation centers have to focus on community integration efforts and efforts aimed at ensuring that TBI patients secure meaningful employment.