Original research| Volume 100, ISSUE 3, P464-473, March 2019

The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Community Integration and Return to Work After Acquired Brain Injury

Published:August 06, 2018DOI:



      To investigate whether emotional intelligence (EI) skills measured via the Perceiving, Understanding, and Managing Emotions branches of the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test V2.0 are associated with community integration (CI) and return to work (RTW) after moderate-to-severe acquired brain injury (ABI), after accounting for other established predictors.


      Retrospective cohort study.


      Outpatient follow-up services within 2 specialist ABI rehabilitation centers in Melbourne, Australia.


      Individuals (N=82) with moderate-to-severe ABI discharged from inpatient rehabilitation and living in the community (2mo to 7y postinjury).


      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Community Integration Questionnaire scores for the total sample (N=82; age range 18-80) and RTW status (employed vs not employed) for the subset of participants employed prior to ABI (n=71; age range 19-66).


      Hierarchical logistic and multiple regression analyses were used to examine the unique contribution of Perceiving, Understanding, and Managing Emotions scores to RTW and CI, after controlling for demographic, injury-related, psychological, and cognitive predictors. As a set, the 3 EI variables did not explain incremental variance in outcomes. However, individually, Understanding Emotions predicted RTW (adjusted odds ratio=3.10, P=.03), χ2 (12)=35.52, P<.001, and Managing Emotions predicted CI (β=0.23, P=.036), F12,69=5.14, P<.001.


      Although the EI constructs in combination did not improve prediction beyond the effects of established variables, individual components of strategic EI may be important for specific participation outcomes after ABI.


      List of abbreviations:

      ABI (acquired brain injury), CI (community integration), CIQ (Community Integration Questionnaire), EI (emotional intelligence), GCS (Glasgow Coma Scale), MSCEIT (Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test), OR (odds ratio), RTW (return to work), WAIS (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale)
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