Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Kissinger, D.B. (2008). Traumatic brain injury and employment outcomes: Integration of the working alliance model. Work, 31 (3), 309-317.
Title:  Traumatic brain injury and employment outcomes: Integration of the working alliance model
Authors:  Kissinger, D.B.
Year:  2008
Journal/Publication:  Work
Publisher:  IOS Press
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No
Research design:  Case history review

Structured abstract:

Background:  Polytrauma includes a complex constellation of symptoms that may involve an array of interrelated cognitive, physical, and psychological symptoms. According to the United States Veteran’s Health Administration, polytrauma is an “injury to the brain in addition to other body parts or systems resulting in physical, cognitive, psychological, or psychosocial impairments and functional disability”. Although problems post traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be challenging many of these individuals remain employable. Rehabilitation specialists assisting persons with TBI with return to work need to understand treatment protocols that could enhance the relationship with the individuals and thereby enhance their employment outcomes.
Purpose:  This paper provided a brief review of the return to work literature and presented Bordin's working alliance model. A case example was used to illustrate the model.
Setting:  The setting for the study was an In/Out Patient Rehabilitation Center.
Study sample:  The paper presents one case study.
Intervention:  The intervention was the Working Alliance Model of Rehabilitation. Some limited research has highlighted the working alliance model’s benefit in working with participants for whom issues of inclusion, empowerment, and promotion of autonomy have become central to the definition of a healthy counseling relationship. One of the main benefits of the model is its dynamic, collaborative orientation. In essence, the sense of ownership a participant gains given the model’s central tenet of shared power and decision making within the professional relationship provides a solid rationale for using this model in rehabilitation settings.
Data collection and analysis:  The case study provides a brief overview of the meetings between the client and his rehabilitation counselor.
Findings:  A treatment and rehabilitation program was developed for the individual with TBI using the Work Alliance model. This included: obtaining a neuropsychological evaluation, transitioning level of care to a day treatment program, continuing to work with his rehabilitation counselor using the Work Alliance model to construct realistic return to work plan and refer him to case manager to monitor his behavioral and psychological needs.
Conclusions:  The model may be able to strengthen the relationship between a person with TBI and a rehabilitation specialist.

Disabilities served:  Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Populations served:  Veterans
Interventions:  Rehabilitation counseling