Gender differences in employment and economic quality of life following traumatic brain injury.

Objective: Due to limited systematic research on gender differences in health and quality of life outcomes following traumatic brain injury (TBI), the present study sought to contribute to the growing literature on gender differences in postinjury employment while also adding an examination of postinjury economic quality of life, an emerging area in disability research. Method: Independent variables included demographic and injury characteristics. Outcome variables included postinjury employment and economic quality of life, measured by the Participation Assessment With Recombined Tools–Objective and the Economic QOL, respectively. Hypotheses that women would experience poorer outcomes in postinjury employment and economic quality of life were tested with logistic and linear regression models. Results: Postinjury employment was associated with gender, higher educational attainment, and preinjury employment. Those with greater injury severity and those identifying as Black or African American were less likely to be employed postinjury. For men and women who were unemployed prior to injury, the odds of postinjury employment for men were 184% higher than for women. Men reported significantly greater economic quality of life. Contrary to hypotheses, postinjury employment was inversely related to economic quality of life in the final model. Conclusion: The results suggest that if unemployed prior to injury, women with TBI are less likely to be employed postinjury and also experience decreased economic quality of life postinjury, regardless of employment status. Although further research is needed to determine which strategies will improve economic quality of life for women with TBI, clinicians may utilize these preliminary findings to guide treatment and advocacy efforts. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)