Primary objective: The evaluation of school and work reintegration of patients following severe brain injury and of the relationship between the most common (early and late) prognostic indicators and reintegration itself. Research design: A retrospective study on a population of 353 patients consecutively admitted to an intensive rehabilitation unit (S. Cuore Hospital, Negrar, Italy) from 1991-1999. Methods and procedures: Evaluation of school and work outcome in this population up to December 2001 (follow-up from 2-10 years post-trauma). Data collection was made using the EBIS (European Brain Injury Society) protocol. Results: In December 2001, 53% of those previously working had returned to competitive work; 76.5% of students were continuing with their studies or had progressed into work. There was a significant difference between employed and non-employed groups in terms of GCS, post-traumatic amnesia (PTA), in-patient rehabilitation length of stay (LOS) and GOS at 6 and at 12 months post-injury. Conclusions: The data confirm the predictive value of the indices used regarding work reintegration in TBI patients. Nevertheless, prolonged and intensive rehabilitation programmes can lead to high re-employment rates in patients whose initial prognosis seemed very poor. © 2005 Taylor & Francis.
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