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Implementing Supported Employment for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury through Remote Counseling During COVID-19

Pogoda TK, Dillahunt-Aspillaga CJ, Keleher VA, Might R, Marchany KE, Yee J, Zogas A, Carlson KF. Implementing Supported Employment for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury through Remote Counseling During COVID-19. Journal of Rehabilitation. 2021 Jan 1; 87(1):64-70.

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The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Supported Employment (SE) program provides a highly individualized vocational rehabilitation service. To deliver SE, providers traditionally spend most of their time meeting in-person with veterans, employers, and clinicians. This article explores the impact of COVID-19 on the implementation of SE programs for veterans with a history of traumatic brain injury. In interviews with 29 SE providers and their nine Compensated Work Therapy managers across 10 VHA medical centers, we analyzed stakeholders' descriptions of how they adjusted their practices during the pandemic. These included switching from in-person to telephone or video communications, identifying new jobs created by COVID-19 conditions, focusing on work-from-home opportunities, and finding other modalities for collaborating with clinicians. Implications for rehabilitation practice are discussed.

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