Success in the workplace following traumatic brain injury: Are we evaluating what is most important?

Authors: Lidz, V., Sorrentino, D. M., Robison, L., & Bunz, S.
Year Published 2004
Publication Disability and Rehabilitation
Volume 26
Number 5
Pages 290-298
Publisher Informa Healthcare

Vocational outcome is one of the most important indicators of rehabilitation following a traumatic brain injury. Specifically, types of paid vocations, especially full-time work, are often viewed most favorably as a sign of success. The factors related to this perception of success are vast.


This study aims at evaluating whether or not the common perceptions of success are in line with those factors that those individuals undergoing rehabilitation for traumatic brain injury (TBI) view as most indicative of progress following an injury.


The study sample included 4 males and 3 females between the ages of 26-51. Six were Europeans and one was of Maori descent. Participants had memory loss of one day to months. All were one year post injury.

Data Collection

Open-ended interviews with minimal prompting were taped and transcribed. They were then read and coded with comparisons to other interviews taking place at the same time. The transcripts were then sent to the participants for verification of accuracy.


There was no control or comparison condition.


The results indicated that while participants view return to work as an important goal of rehabilitation following TBI, they also valued other means of feeling successful , not having a stressful work life affect their personal life, and feeling successful without full time pay (previously considered the goal) to be of near equal importance.


While paid employment is important, the work must also provide feelings of productivity and success. The researchers also feel evaluation of these individuals should take more subjective factors into consideration of their "success" of rehabilitation.

Disabilities Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Populations Male & Female
Outcomes Full-time employment | Return to work
NIDILRR Funded Not Reported
Research Design Mixed methods
Peer Reviewed Yes