Objective: To describe predictors of return to work after spinal cord injury (SCI), in particular the physical intensity of the pre-injury job. Study design: Survey. Patients' home. Methods: We interviewed 234 persons with a spinal cord injury (SCI) between 18 and 65 years of age and who were gainfully employed at the time of the injury. Possible predictors were tested with logistic regression analyses. Results: After the SCI, only 37% of the persons were gainfully employed. People with heavy and strenuous physical work pre-injury regained work in only 25%, respectively 21%. Being male (Odds Ratio (OR) 3.70), light to moderate physical job pre-injury (OR 3.16), high Barthel Index (OR 2.76), high educational level (OR 2.12) and education post-injury (OR 2.14) were significant predictors for returning to gainful work after injury. Many unemployed persons thought they were capable of working. Conclusions: Only a minority returned to gainful employment after SCI even to a physically less demanding job. In addition to intensive inpatient re-education, long-term support in job seeking is very important, including switching to a less demanding job.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology