Acquired Brain Injury Among Adolescents and Young Adults: A Nationwide Study of Labor Market Attachment

M S Worm*, M Kruse, J B Valentin, S W Svendsen, J F Nielsen, J F Thomsen, S P Johnsen

*Corresponding author for this work


Purpose Young patients represent a particularly vulnerable group regarding vocational prognosis after an acquired brain injury (ABI). We aimed to investigate how sequelae and rehabilitation needs are associated with vocational prognosis up to 3 years after an ABI in 15-30-year-old patients. Methods An incidence cohort of 285 patients with ABI completed a questionnaire on sequelae and rehabilitation interventions and needs 3 months after the index hospital contact. They were followed-up for up to 3 years with respect to the primary outcome "stable return to education/work (sRTW)", which was defined using a national register of public transfer payments. Data were analyzed using cumulative incidence curves and cause-specific hazard ratios. Results Young individuals reported a high frequency of mainly pain-related (52%) and cognitive sequelae (46%) at 3 months. Motor problems were less frequent (18%), but negatively associated with sRTW within 3 years (adjusted HR 0.57, 95% CI 0.39-0.84). Rehabilitation interventions were received by 28% while 21% reported unmet rehabilitation needs, and both factors were negatively associated with sRTW (adjusted HR 0.66, 95% CI 0.48-0.91 and adjusted HR 0.72, 95% CI 0.51-1.01). Conclusions Young patients frequently experienced sequelae and rehabilitation needs 3 months post ABI, which was negatively associated with long-term labor market attachment. The low rate of sRTW among patients with sequelae and unmet rehabilitation needs indicates an untapped potential for ameliorated vocational and rehabilitating initiatives targeted at young patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Feb 2023


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