FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH SUCCESSFUL VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION IN A SWEDISH RURAL AREA
Sven-Uno Marnetoft, John Selander, Alf Bergroth, Jan Ekholm
A1 Department of Public Health, Division of Rehabilitation Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
The objective of this study was to identify factors associated with a positive outcome of vocational rehabilitation, and to identify groups that have been successfully rehabilitated in a Swedish rural area. In this study vocational rehabilitation is defined as medical multidisciplinary, psychological, social and occupational activities aiming to re-establish, among sick or injured people with previous work history, their working capacity and prerequisites for returning to the labour market. The study was based on 732 people on registered long-term sick-leave who, in a rural area in northern Sweden during 1992-94, became objects for vocational rehabilitation. Bivariate and stepwise logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with the outcome. By successful vocational rehabilitation is meant reporting well (no economical benefit) at all three time-points 6, 12 and 24 months after termination of rehabilitation, or lowered benefit levels. The results indicate that younger, male, employed persons, with an early start on rehabilitation, in a programme entailing education, and partly sick-listed before the start of this programme, had the greatest chance of successful rehabilitation. In contrast, older, female, unemployed people, with a delayed start on rehabilitation, without education, and fully sick-listed before the start, greatly risked being unsuccessful with vocational rehabilitation. The results indicate how to improve the rehabilitation process: several process-related factors shown to be connected with successful vocational rehabilitation include time before the start of rehabilitation, partial instead of full sickness benefit, and education programmes.
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