Patient Perspectives on Key Outcomes for Vocational Rehabilitation Interventions Following Traumatic Injury

Returning to work after traumatic injury can have a range of benefits, but there is currently little research that incorporates patient perspectives to identify outcomes of vocational rehabilitation interventions that are important to survivors. Trauma survivors (n = 17) participated in in-depth semi-structured interviews or focus groups exploring outcomes that were important to them for recovery and return to work. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. Participants identified a range of outcomes that they considered important and necessary to facilitate a successful and sustainable return to work: physical and psychological recovery, purposeful life engagement, managing expectations of recovery, managing expectations about return to work, and employers’ expectations. Our participants advocated for a multifaceted and biopsychosocial understanding of recovery and outcomes that need to be captured for vocational rehabilitation interventions. Implications for practice and research are discussed, and recommendations are given based on the findings.


Kay Bridger, Blerina Kellezi, Denise Kendrick, Kate Radford, Stephen Timmons, Mike Rennoldson, Trevor Jones, Jade Kettlewell, and on behalf of the ROWTATE Team


Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume: 18
Issue: 4
Pages: 2035 -
Year: 2021
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18042035

Further Study Information

Current Stage: Completed
Funding source(s): This paper presents independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Programme Grants for Applied Research Programme (Reference number RP-PG-0617-20001).

Health Area

Disease Category: Orthopaedics & trauma

Disease Name: Traumatic injury

Target Population

Age Range: 27 - 68

Sex: Either

Nature of Intervention: Rehabilitation

Stakeholders Involved

- Consumers (patients)

Study Type

- Patient perspectives


- Focus group(s)
- Interview

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