What characterizes work and workplaces that retain their employees following acquired brain injury? A systematic review.
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAlves DE, Nilsen W, Fure SCR, Enehaug HE, Howe EI, Løvstad M, Andelic N, Fink L, Spjelkavik Ø. What characterizes work and workplaces that retain their employees following acquired brain injury? A systematic review. Annals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (AOEM). 2020;77:122-130 http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2019-106102
Objectives: The objective of this study was to conduct a systematic review assessing workplace factors related to work retention (or return to work) in employees with acquired brain injury (ABI). Additionally, we aimed to synthesise the evidence and state of knowledge on this subject. Methods: A database search was performed in nine relevant electronic databases. Inclusion criteria were quantitative peer-reviewed publications empirically investigating the relationship between work/workplace factors and work retention in employees following ABI. The methodological quality was determined by Effective Public Health Practice Project scoring, and evidence was synthesised narratively. Results: Thirteen studies were included. We found moderate evidence for a negative relationship between manual work and work retention. We also found limited evidence for a U-shaped relationship between workload and complete work retention at 6 months and no relationship at 12 months; a positive relationship between managers, compared with non-managers, and faster work retention; a positive relationship between large enterprise size defined as ≥250 employees, and no relationship between large enterprise size, defined as ≥1000 employees, and work retention. Conclusion: Relative to individual factors, there is little evidence on specific workplace factors’ relationship to work retention among employees with ABI. For most workplace factors, there were too few high-quality studies to designate evidence as more than limited or insufficient. Future studies should replicate rigorous studies of well-defined modifiable workplace factors related to work retention.