Improved employment rates after multiprofessional cross-sector cooperation in vocational rehabilitation: a 6-year follow-up with comparison groups
The objective of this study was to better understand the long-term effects of an improved model for cooperation on employment between rehabilitation professionals in vocational rehabilitation (VR). To compare these effects with those associated with the traditional model of cooperation. The study featured a group of patients who participated in a developmental project. All of the patients had some degree of restricted work capacity, which was evidenced somatically as well as mentally/socially. They had all experienced long periods of unemployment during the 2-year period before the intervention. A 'natural experiment study design' that relied on database records was used. Using matching criteria, we identified 'social twins' from a government register to create comparison groups at the local, county and national levels (n = 4 x 51 patients). Repeated-measures analysis of variance and logistic regression were used to analyse the data. The majority (59%) of the study group was employed 3 years after the intervention compared with 39 and 41% in the two matched control groups, respectively. The corresponding figures after 6 years were 51 versus 39 and 37%. An individual with a somatically restricted work capacity was about twice as likely to secure gainful employment following VR as compared with an individual with a mentally/socially restricted work capacity. In conclusion, the study focused on an improved method of cooperation between rehabilitation actors in the context of VR programmes. A model that included systematic multiprofessional cross-sector group meetings was explored, and we concluded that a substantial percentage of the enrolled patients successfully secured employment over a 6-year period. This percentage exceeded that of matched pairs in a county and national group; we presume that these groups represented 'the usual form of cooperation'.
PubMed URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19741547