OBJECTIVE. Our objective was to examine demographic, cognitive, emotional, and physical factors that predict return to paid employment for people after neurological injury.
METHOD. Four hundred eighty adults with stroke (n = 149), traumatic brain injury (n = 155), and spinal cord injury (n = 176) completed an occupational outcome questionnaire and physical, emotional, and cognitive assessments at three rehabilitation facilities.
RESULTS. Odds of employment were predicted by being married or partnered, having more education, requiring fewer prompts for task sequencing, and having higher inhibitory control (but were not predicted by specific type of injury). Participants who returned to work within 3 mo were more likely to work with the same employer and to take a full-time position than those who returned later.
CONCLUSION. Executive functioning, in particular sequencing and inhibitory control, strongly predicts employment and highlights the importance of cognitive strategy training during occupational therapy with people who have sustained neurological injuries.