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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 924027, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/924027
Research Article

Exploring Vocational Evaluation Practices following Traumatic Brain Injury

1Department of Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, University of South Florida, 13301 Bruce B Downs Boulevard, MHC 1632, Tampa, FL 33612-3807, USA
2College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, University of South Florida, 13301 Bruce B Downs Boulevard, MHC 1139, Tampa, FL 33612-3807, USA
3American Legacy Foundation, 1724 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA
4Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto, 160-500 University Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 1V7
5C.G. Dixon & Associates Inc., 42 S. Ingram Street, Alexandria, VA 22304, USA

Received 6 June 2015; Revised 5 August 2015; Accepted 18 August 2015

Academic Editor: Juan C. Arango-Lasprilla

Copyright © 2015 Christina Dillahunt-Aspillaga et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. Individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) face many challenges when attempting to return to work (RTW). Vocational evaluation (VE) is a systematic process that involves assessment and appraisal of an individual’s current work-related characteristics and abilities. Objective. The aims of this study are to (1) examine demographic and employment characteristics of vocational rehabilitation providers (VRPs), (2) identify the specific evaluation methods that are used in the VE of individuals with TBI, and (3) examine the differences in assessment method practices based upon evaluator assessment preferences. Methods. This exploratory case study used a forty-six-item online survey which was distributed to VRPs. Results. One hundred and nine VRPs accessed the survey. Of these, 74 completed the survey. A majority of respondents were female (79.7%), Caucasian (71.6%), and holding a master’s degree (74.3%), and more than half (56.8%) were employed as state vocational rehabilitation counselors (VRCs). In addition, over two-thirds (67.6%) were certified rehabilitation counselors (CRCs). Respondents reported using several specific tools and assessments during the VE process. Conclusions. Study findings reveal differences in use of and rationales for specific assessments amongst VRPs. Understanding VRP assessment practices and use of an evidence-based framework for VE following TBI may inform and improve VE practice.