At the group level, community-based neuropsychological rehabilitation interventions with a vocational focus are generally effective among individuals with brain injuries. However, individual participants vary significantly in the extent of their improvement, prompting attempts to elucidate individual, injury-related, and environmental factors affecting prognosis. In this study, we examined the relationships between one such factor – “time from injury” (the time between injury and intervention) – and two outcome measures: employment status and perceived quality of life (PQoL), in 157 brain injury survivors, before and after a holistic neuropsychological vocational rehabilitation program. We also examined whether relationships between the variables were moderated by age at onset of treatment and injury severity. In the entire sample, both the proportion of employed participants and average PQoL increased following program participation. Neither, time from injury, severity, nor age at onset of treatment predicted the increase in employment proportion, and severity was not a significant predictor of PQoL. However, an interactive effect indicated that when treatment was started at a younger age, longer time from injury predicted higher levels of PQoL, but when treatment was started at older ages, longer time from injury predicted lower levels of PQoL. When interpreted alongside existing literature, these results suggest that delaying vocational components of rehabilitation can be beneficial for younger participants, while the effectiveness of vocational rehabilitation can be maximized by starting as early as possible among older participants. Most importantly, regardless of age, it appears that vocational rehabilitation can be effective even when initiated many years after injury.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We would like to acknowledge the work of Yair Mitterani, who collected a portion of the data for this study in the context of his Master’s research.
Copyright © 2023 Bloch, Shany-Ur, Sharoni, Bar-Lev, Salomon-Shushan, Maril, Druckman and Hoofien.
- brain injury
- perceived quality of life
- time since injury
- vocational rehabilitation