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Research Study One (RS1)

Identifying What People with Physical Disabilities Want and Need to Know About Employment: A Mixed Methods Research Study

Study Team Leaders:

Dr. Katherine Inge and Dr. Carolyn Graham

Purpose:

The purpose of this study is to engage people with physical disabilities in the design, research, and on-going knowledge translation (KT) activities involved in developing and maintaining a RRTC and national resource center on employment.

Research Question(s):

  1. What are the most commonly reported barriers and facilitators to employment that are identified by people with physical disabilities?
  2. What are the most commonly reported employment information and resource needs reported by people with physical disabilities?
  3. What KT strategies are reported by people with physical disabilities as most useful / preferred for obtaining evidence-based research knowledge on employment?
  4. What is the relationship between demographics and the KT strategies used / preferred by people with physical disabilities to access evidence-based knowledge?
  5. What is the relationship between demographics and the information reported as needed by people with physical disabilities?
  6. Is the targeted KT strategy superior to the traditional strategy for acquiring and using evidence-based research knowledge on employment by people with physical disabilities?
  7. What is the relationship between demographics (i.e., gender, age, functional limitations, & educational level) and the effective knowledge translation strategies for acquiring evidence-based research knowledge on employment by people with physical disabilities?

Study Summary:

This study will take place in three phases. The first phase involves conducting focus groups of people with physical disabilities. During the focus groups, individuals with physical disabilities will discuss:

  • their key suggestions and concerns related to planning and implementing employment strategies;
  • the knowledge and resources a person may need to gain and maintain work and;
  • explain their preferred ways to gain new knowledge about employment and related topics.

The data collected during the focus groups will be used to develop a survey for a national audience of people with physical disabilities. This survey will assist the researchers in selecting a KT strategy that will be used to disseminate information on employment. Phase three will be a random control trial study that will test the efficacy of the KT strategy with people with physical disabilities.

Expected Outcomes and Benefits:

The results of RS1 will lead to new evidence-based knowledge about the way people with physical disabilities acquire and use information and resources to facilitate employment outcomes.

Acknowledgement:

The VCU-RRTC would like to recognize the efforts of the World Institute on Disability (WID), the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS), and the United Spinal Cord Injury Association (USCIA) for assistance with recruitment for this study.

For additional information contact:

Dr. Katherine Inge or Dr. Carolyn Graham