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Patients views on which return-to-work outcomes should be prioritised: A nominal group technique focus group

Bridger, Kay; Kellezi, Blerina; Kendrick, Denise; Kettlewell, Jade; Holmes, Jain; Timmons, Stephen; Andrews, Isabel; Fallon, Stephen; Radford, Kate


Kay Bridger

Blerina Kellezi

Professor of Primary Care Research

Senior Research Fellow

Professor of Health Services Management

Isabel Andrews

Stephen Fallon


Objective: Injuries can have a long-lasting effect on ability to return to work, but there is little research on which outcomes are most important to patients. This study aims to identify and prioritise return-to-work outcomes important to patients for evaluating vocational rehabilitation interventions. Methods: Nominal group technique focus group with trauma patients. Results: Focus group participants (n = 6) included mostly traumatic brain injuries, a range of occupation types, ages and both genders. Participants identified and prioritised their eight most important outcomes which were: sense of purpose and life satisfaction, understanding the impact of injury, assessment of readiness to return to work, using SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) goals, facilitated reintegration to work, assessing capacity to return to work, collaboration between key stakeholders and improved employer and employee knowledge. Many of these were measures of the process of, rather than change outcomes of vocational rehabilitation. Conclusions: The range of outcomes identified by trauma patients highlights the complex process of return to work and the need for vocational rehabilitation evaluations to incorporate a broader range of outcomes. Measures of the process of vocational rehabilitation are also important to trauma patients and should be included in such evaluations.


Bridger, K., Kellezi, B., Kendrick, D., Kettlewell, J., Holmes, J., Timmons, S., …Radford, K. (2022). Patients views on which return-to-work outcomes should be prioritised: A nominal group technique focus group. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 85(9), 704-711.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 15, 2021
Online Publication Date Mar 2, 2022
Publication Date Sep 1, 2022
Deposit Date Jan 4, 2022
Publicly Available Date Mar 2, 2022
Journal British Journal of Occupational Therapy
Print ISSN 0308-0226
Electronic ISSN 1477-6006
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 85
Issue 9
Pages 704-711
Keywords injuries, patient outcomes, vocational rehabilitation
Public URL
Publisher URL


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