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Differences in employment outcomes 10 years after traumatic brain injury among racial and ethnic minority groups

by Kelli W. Gary, Jessica M. Ketchum, Juan Carlos Arango-Lasprilla, Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, Thomas Novack, Al Copolillo and Xiaoyan Deng

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Gary, K., Ketchum, J., Arango-Lasprilla, J., Kreutzer, J., Novack, T., Copolillo, A. & Deng, X. (2010). Differences in employment outcomes 10 years after traumatic brain injury among racial and ethnic minority groups. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 33(1), 65-75.

Abstract

Employment outcomes of racial and ethnic minority groups with traumatic brain injury (TBI) have not been thoroughly examined in the research literature beyond five years. The objective of this study was to examine differences in employment outcomes 10 years after TBI among racial and ethnic minorities. Using a multi-center, nationwide database, 382 participants (194 minorities and 188 whites) with primarily moderate to severe TBI from 16 TBI Model System Centers were examined. A logistic regression model indicated that the odds of being competitively employed versus not competitively employed at 10 years follow-up were 2.370 times greater for whites as compared to minorities after adjusting for age at injury, pre-injury employment status, cause of injury, and total length of stay (LOS). In addition, the odds of being competitively employed at 10 years follow-up versus not being competitively employed ranged from being 1.485 to 2.553 greater for those who were younger, employed at injury,had shorter total LOS, and non-violent injuries, respectively. This study supports previous research illustrating that compared to whites, employment is less promising for minorities after TBI both short and long term. Recommendations are suggested to help rehabilitation professionals target the specific needs of minorities with TBI in order to address employment disparities through culturally-based interventions and service delivery.

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