UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Outlining the Invisible: Experiences and Perspectives Regarding Concussion Recovery, Return-to-Work, and Resource Gaps Karmali, Shazya; Beaton, Marie Denise; Babul, Shelina


Appropriate supports and accommodations are necessary to ensure full concussion recovery and return-to-work (RTW). This research investigated barriers and facilitators to concussion recovery and RTW, and resource gaps reported by adults with concussion (‘workers’) and workplace and healthcare professionals (‘workplaces’). Semi-structured interviews and focus groups were conducted with workers (n = 31) and workplaces (n = 16) across British Columbia. Data were analyzed using inductive content analysis. Facilitators to workers’ concussion recovery and RTW included treatment, social support, and workplace and lifestyle modifications. To address barriers, both groups recommended: (a) widespread concussion and RTW education and training (b) standardized concussion recovery guidelines; (c) changing attitudes toward concussion; (d) mental health supports; and (e) increasing awareness that every concussion is unique. Findings can inform best practice for concussion recovery and RTW among professionals in workplaces, healthcare, occupational health and safety, and workers’ compensation boards.

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