Communication abilities and work re-entry following traumatic brain injury
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This exploratory study was completed to determine if communication measures could discriminate employed from unemployed individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Twenty adults with TBI participated, 10 employed and 10 unemployed; subjects in both groups were 1-4 years post-injury, with comparable severity of injury and type of work. Subjects were administered communication tests measuring auditory processing, effects of speaking under time pressure, production of oral language, and functional verbal reasoning ability. An aphasia test and a functional outcome measure were also administered. Results revealed that a combination of three tests, one test of functional verbal reasoning and two tests of auditory processing, correctly classified 85% of subjects as employed or unemployed. Tasks that were impairment- and disability-based appear to be more related to outcome than impairment-level tasks alone. Impairment and disability level communication tasks may provide functional and practical information, which could assist in work re-entry.
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