Level of agreement of occupational titles between persons with traumatic brain injury and their informants
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BACKGROUND: Returning to work is one of the most important goals cited by individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, they may have difficulty evoking past work history. The ability to recall work history is integral to the rehabilitation process of return to work. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine 1) the level of agreement on the reporting of occupations and 2) if agreement is affected when specific occupational details are required in recall between adults with traumatic brain injury and their informants. METHODS: This is a retrospective cohort study of 259 individuals, with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury, and their selected informants (e.g. spouse, parent). Interviews were conducted separately for the individual and respective informant to gather information on type of occupation at time of injury and at time of interview. Reported occupations were coded using a standard classification system. Level of agreement was analyzed by interclass correlation coefficients and percent agreement, and the significance of bias was calculated. RESULTS: Participants were a mean age of 44.5 at time of study with 40% employed compared to 77% at time of injury. Agreement between participants and their informants for occupational title was high for both time periods though more so at the time of injury compared to current status. Level of agreement for specificity was moderate to high however, decreased as need for specificity of detail increased. CONCLUSION: While participant-informant responses appear to be reliable for occupational classification, when detailed information is required corroborating information is likely needed.
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