Treatment and Management of Work-Related Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The purpose of this narrative review was to assess work-related mild traumatic brain injury treatment approaches and outcomes. Literature indicates that incidence of work-related mild traumatic brain injury is high. Ability to return to work after injury is variable, with differences identified across industry sector, mechanisms of injury, sex, and timely treatment and referral. Additional challenges exist in the context of secondary gains (e.g., financial) and the potential for symptom exaggeration. Emerging evidence from studies outside the United States demonstrate the benefits of proactive assessment and treatment at the time of injury. These benefits can be further augmented by early referral to multidisciplinary treatment teams led by physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians. Opportunities for ongoing research and development of strategies to improve treatment, management, and more timely return to work for patients with occupational mild traumatic brain injury are discussed. It is concluded that challenges persist in treatment and management of patients with work-related mild traumatic brain injury as they present unique challenges not seen in those with nonwork-related mild traumatic brain injuries. The unique position of physical medicine and rehabilitation and the skills of physiatrists render them poised to lead multidisciplinary treatment teams for these patients and contribute to the development of a new guideline for return to work, with an emphasis on functional recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)560-566
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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