In the past five years, approximately 80% of claimants who have been triaged to the Millard Health Head Trauma Rehabilitation Program have been identified as having sustained a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). In the population of injured workers with MTBI who are receiving workers’ compensation, there is a dearth of research examining what variables are associated with positive clinical and return to work outcomes. The proposed research aims to better understand these relationships with a focus on return to work and reducing barriers to employability. Identifying and addressing barriers to return to work within this population could ultimately help maximize rehabilitation and safe return to work, which are consistent with the WCB mandate.
Our research objective is to isolate variables that could potentially lead to early identification of individuals at increased risk of a complicated outcome. We will expand and improve upon previous research by focusing on a relatively homogenous group of injured workers with MTBI, and by controlling for confounding variables commonly overlooked with control group studies.
This project aims to address WCB-Alberta’s research priority of obtaining optimal return-to-work outcomes through effective rehabilitation for claimants with MTBI. Because the research will be based on data from workers’ compensation claimants in Alberta, it will be directly applicable for WCB-Alberta. This research is relevant to WCB-Alberta and Millard Health in the following ways: Identify specific variables of assessment and
treatment that contribute to return to work status among claimants who have sustained head trauma; improve and individualize claimant treatment and recommendations; assist in determining the length of rehabilitation; and aid in developing both a cost-effective and successful program that effectively addresses the most important objective—namely, return to work.
Dr. Doug Gross, Dr. Annette Colangelo, Dr. Abigail Abada, (University of Alberta / Millard Health)