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Complications That Come With a Brain Injury

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This article is a study on people who are able to return to work after experiencing a traumatic brain injury. The purpose of the article is to better understand the complications that come with a brain injury when the person returns to work. The people with the brain injury were compared to relatives who did not have a brain injury. The method they used for the study included 46 adults with traumatic brain injury and 46 of their relatives. They were split into 2 groups based on their employment; employed or unemployed. Thus, in the test the employed group had less difficulties with interaction. The question of this study is, are traumatic brain injury patients able to return to work and social commination ability fully after their accident? The communication deficits play a role in the returning to the workplace after traumatic brain injury, meaning there might need to be some adjustments.


Ninety- two participants were chosen for the study, forty-six of them had traumatic brain injury and forty-six of their relatives did not have a brain injury. The subjects were male and female adults. The age varied, the education preinjury employment, the severity of the injury or postinjury time did not affect the research. They were placed into two groups based on their employment status either employed or unemployed. To be qualified for the employed group they were required to have been employed before their injury and still employed at the same or similar job. To qualify for the unemployed group, they needed to be employed before the injury and had trouble returning to work after the injury. The participants needed to have completed education in an English-speaking country to qualify. If the participants had a history of substance abuse, neurological or psychiatric disorders they could not participate. A 30 questionnaire that asked them for a self-report and a close other form that are worded differently was used to measure the study. The questionnaire included specific communicative deficits associated with traumatic brain injury. The higher the score on the questionnaire is the higher the problematic outcome from the participant. The questionnaire was testing for four different outcomes, stated in the article “inhibitory and attention control in conversation, conversational fluency, and conversational task management.” (Jacinta M. Douglas). The data collection happened in the participant’s house. The participants with traumatic brain injury and their relatives took the questionnaire separately. The participants with traumatic brain injury completed the questionnaire in an interview style with the researcher. Their relatives were given the option of written format or with the researcher.

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The results of the questionnaire were higher with the group of people in the unemployed group than the employed group of participants. In the employed group the participants with traumatic brain injury ranged with a score between 31 to 90 and the relative range was between 37 and 44. The unemployed participants with traumatic brain injury scored between 38 and 84 and the relatives ranged between 45 to 94. The groups showed different range in numbers but it was not a drastic change. In both groups the participants with traumatic brain injury scored higher than their relatives. This means that they are more prone to have problems with communication skills. The results showed that the group of adults who had returned to employed and the adults who did not return showed changes.


The results showed that social communication is an issue with adults who have had a traumatic brain injury and are returning to work. To fully return to work the participants need a lot of attention. For example, therapeutic attention with support from their workplace. In the work place their needs to be therapy services close by for the adult. For a long period after their injury they should have the option of support to make sure they are comfortable. Treatments that specifically address communication difficulties for those who acquired a traumatic brain injury can help severely. I think that results in this test really showed that communication skills after a trauma has been altered and by sharing this research we can help more people regain the skills.


I think that the research in the field is very important. Brain injuries are a very serious injury and if there is more research on brain activity after a trauma we could help a lot of people. I never thought that after a traumatic brain injury your communication skills would be affected by after reading this study I understand how. I do agree with the author; I believe that this was a great test. If you do not have strong communication skills while you return to work you will struggle in the work field, but like the author said, there was therapy stations in the workplace we might be able to increase the amount of people who return to work.


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