[Skip to Navigation]
August 1973

Gainful Employment Following Head Injury: Prognostic Factors

Author Affiliations

Washington, DC; Nashville, Tenn; Bethesda, Md
From the American National Red Cross, Washington, DC (Mrs. Dresser); University Hospital, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn (Dr. Meirowsky); National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md (Dr. Weiss, Ms. McNeel, Drs. Simon and Caveness). Dr. Simon is now at Princeton (NJ) University.

Arch Neurol. 1973;29(2):111-116. doi:10.1001/archneur.1973.00490260055011

Fifteen years after head injuries were sustained in combat and support activities, gainful employment was determined in 75% of 864 veterans of the Korean Conflict. This finding was correlated with known characteristics of the injury and the preinduction mental status in a search for factors that influenced future employment.

These were found to be (1) the quality of the injured brain, as revealed by the Armed Forces Qualification Test score and (2) the amount of brain damage, as adjudged by the depth of penetration and the duration of unconsciousness, estimates of focal and diffuse impairment, respectively. Resulting deficits in speech, bilateral vision, or motor function, as well as fits beyond 30 days, were of additional predictive value. The greatest future employment probability, 82%, occurred in those with the better preinjury mental endowment and any but the worst of the injury characteristics. A lower preinjury mental status or a severe expression of any of the injury phenomena reduced the probability of employment to 60%. Any two of these factors reduced the probability to 50%.

Add or change institution