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Supported Employment for Veterans With Traumatic Brain Injury: Provider Perspectives.

Pogoda TK, Carlson KF, Gormley KE, Resnick SG. Supported Employment for Veterans With Traumatic Brain Injury: Provider Perspectives. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation. 2018 Feb 1; 99(2S):S14-S22.

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OBJECTIVE: To identify any pilot and nonpilot site differences regarding current (1) provision of supported employment (SE) to veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI); (2) staffing and communication between the SE and polytrauma/TBI teams; and (3) provider perceptions on facilitators and barriers to providing, and suggestions for improving, SE. DESIGN: Mixed methods cross-sectional survey study. SETTING: Veterans Health Administration SE programs. PARTICIPANTS: Respondents (N = 144) included 54 SE supervisors and 90 vocational rehabilitation specialists. INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Web-based surveys of forced-choice and open-ended items included questions on SE team characteristics, communication with polytrauma/TBI teams, and experiences with providing SE to veterans with TBI history. RESULTS: SE was provided to veterans with TBI at 100% of pilot and 59.2% of nonpilot sites (P = .09). However, vocational rehabilitation specialists at pilot sites reported that communication with the polytrauma/TBI team about SE referrals was more frequent than at nonpilot sites (P = .003). In open-ended items, suggestions for improving SE were similar across pilot and nonpilot sites, and included increasing staffing for vocational rehabilitation specialists and case management, enhancing communication and education between SE and polytrauma/TBI teams, and expanding the scope of the SE program so that eligibility is based on employment support need, rather than diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: These findings may contribute to an evidence base that informs SE research and clinical directions on service provision, resource allocation, team integration efforts, and outreach to veterans with TBI who have employment support needs.

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