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On vocational rehabilitation in northern Sweden: with focus on life satisfaction and outcome prediction
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Rehabilitation Medicine.
1991 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A consecutive series of 149 subjects with complete or partial vocational disability due to somatic ill-health were investigated at admission for vocational rehabilitation and two years later. Subjects filled in checklists which encompassed 5 socio-demographic, 5 psycho-social and 9 life satisfaction items. Moreover, 5 dimensions of "handicap" were assessed.

At admission subjects were physically examined. In this diagnostically mixed sample 80 of them had non-specific locomotor dysfunction with pain ("algia"). In this sub-sample 23 symptoms (yes/no alternatives) and 24 signs (present/not present) were registered.

At the two-year follow-up actual source and level of income were registered and 126 subjects reported their levels of life satisfaction. A reference population including 163 employed subjects was used for comparisons of levels of life satisfaction.At admission satisfaction with life as a whole (level of happiness) and with 6/8 domain specific life satisfaction items were significantly lower for the vocational rehabilitation clients than for the references. Psycho-socio-demographic items formed 5 factors, two were socio-demographic and three psycho-social characteristics. Only few were "handicapped" concerning orientation, mobility and self-care, while the majority were financially and/or occupationally "handicapped".

At the two-year follow-up 91% of the partly and 67% of those who at admission were completely vocationally disabled were undergoing education or were gainfully employed, giving a success rate of 77%. Moreover, return to work from unemployment resulted in significantly increased income. Successful rehabilitation resulted in normalization of the majority of life satisfaction domains. This was particularly true for overall vocational satisfaction. Level of happiness was increased but not up to the level of the references. At follow-up the level of or change in (admission/follow-up computations) vocational satisfaction were major predictors for level of or change in happiness. Hence, successful vocational rehabilitation led to increased social well-being.

For the total sample major predictors of outcome were: Level of experienced health and belief in vocational return. It is suggested that these two variables arc useful instruments for vocational rehabilitation decision making. In the algic sub-sample signs and symptoms were - statistically - combined into 8 meaningful entities, characterizing regional, postural and relational syndromes. Whereas these may not necessarily be generalizable they may be of clinical descriptory value. However, only one of them contributed to outcome prediction; the major predictors for those algic subjects being belief in vocational return and sex.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1991. , 48 p.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 318
Keyword [en]
Work, Vocational rehabilitation, Impairment, Disability, Outcome, Return to work, Earnings, Psycho-social aspects, Life Satisfaction, Happiness, Chronic pain
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-101289ISBN: 91-7174-612-9 (korr.)OAI: diva2:798885
Public defence
1991-11-23, föreläsningssal D, Regionsjukhuset i Umeå, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 09:15

S. 1-48: sammanfattning, s. 49-125: 5 uppsatser

Available from: 2015-04-07 Created: 2015-03-26 Last updated: 2015-04-08Bibliographically approved

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Eklund, Michael
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