Effectiveness of vocational rehabilitation following acquired brain injury: Preliminary evaluation of a UK specialist rehabilitation programme

Authors: Nachreiner, N. M., Dagher, R. K., McGovern, P. M., Baker, B. A., Alexander, B. H., & Gerberich, S. G.
Year Published 2006
Publication Brain Injury
Volume 20
Number 11
Pages 1119-1129
Publisher Informa Healthcare

Individuals with Acquired Brain Injury have difficulties with returning to work. Studies show only around 30% returning to work.


The purpose of the study is to determine the effectiveness of a vocational rehabilitation programme in assisting individuals with Acquired Brain Injury with returning to work or other meaningful activity.


Three Brain Injury Centres based across the United Kingdom.


Participants included 232 individuals with ABI who were discharged from the program between January 2000 and December 2002. The majority were males (82%) and 12% were females. The mean age was 33 years with a range from 17 to 62 years. The majority of injuries were TBI (62%). The date of a person's' injury and enrollment in the programme. ranged from 7 months to 35.5 years. And at the time of injury the majority of individuals has been employed (70%). At the time of entry into the program 92% of the participants were receiving an Incapacity Benefit and regarded as unemployable.

Data Collection

Data was gathered using administrative databases and other records located at the three centres. Job roles were classified using the UK standard occupational classification system. Data on outcomes was classified into one of the following: paid competitive work, education and training, voluntary work, discharge to other services, client withdrew and discharged for other reasons.


There was no control or comparison condition.


Upon exiting the programme, 41% of the participants had secured paid competitive employment; 16% were volunteering and 15% had entered a training or education. Among the remaining 28%, 15 % were discharged due to medical or rehabilitation programmes to deal with other issues and 13% withdrew. There was no formal cost analysis of the effectiveness of the intervention.


A total of 72% of those enrolled in the programme left to start a meaningful activity with 41% securing work. Vocational rehabilitation seems effective in assisting individuals with ABI with returning to work.

URL http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17123928
Disabilities Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Populations Male & Female | Asian | Black / African American | White / Caucasian
Outcomes Employment acquisition | Return to work
Research Design Observational
Peer Reviewed Yes