Racial Differences in Employment Outcomes After Traumatic Brain Injury

Juan Carlos Arango-Lasprilla, Jessica M. Ketchum, Kelli Williams, Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, Carlos D. Marquez de la Plata, Therese M. O'Neil-Pirozzi, Paul Wehman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Arango-Lasprilla JC, Ketchum JM, Williams K, Kreutzer JS, Marquez de la Plata CD, O'Neil-Pirozzi TM, Wehman P. Racial differences in employment outcomes after traumatic brain injury. Objective: To examine racial differences in employment status and occupational status 1 year after a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Design: Retrospective study. Setting: Longitudinal dataset of the Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems national database. Participants: Subjects with primarily moderate to severe TBI (3468 whites vs 1791 minorities) hospitalized between 1989 and 2005. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Employment status (competitively employed or unemployed) and occupational status (professional/managerial, skilled, or manual labor) at 1 year postinjury. Results: Race and/or ethnicity has a significant effect on employment status at 1 year postinjury (χ12=58.23, P<.001), after adjusting for preinjury employment status, sex, Disability Rating Scale at discharge, marital status, cause of injury, age, and education. The adjusted odds of being unemployed versus competitively employed are 2.17 times (95% confidence interval, 1.78-2.65) greater for minorities than for whites. Race and ethnicity does not have a significant effect on occupational status at 1 year postinjury. Conclusions: With this empirical evidence supporting racial differences in employment outcomes between minorities and whites at 1 year postinjury, priority should be given to tailoring interventions to maximize minority survivors' work-related productivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)988-995
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain injuries
  • Employment
  • Outcomes research
  • Race
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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