Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Krause, J. S., & Pickelsimer, E. (2008). Relationship of perceived barriers to employment and return to work five years later: a pilot study among 343 participants with spinal cord injury. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 51 (2), 118-121.
Title:  Relationship of perceived barriers to employment and return to work five years later: a pilot study among 343 participants with spinal cord injury
Authors:  Krause, J. S., & Pickelsimer, E.
Year:  2008
Journal/Publication:  Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin
Publisher:  Hammill Institute on Disabilities
DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1177/0034355207311349
Full text:  http://proxy.library.vcu.edu/login?url=http://rcb.sagepub.com/conte...   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Yes
Research design:  Survey research

Structured abstract:

Background:  Unemployment rates among people that have suffered a spinal cord injury (SCI) are consistently reported as being low. Perceived barriers to employment among unemployed people with SCI include physical inability to perform the same kind of work following the injury, health and stamina issues, and financial disincentives.
Purpose:  This study aimed to identify the association of perceived barriers to employment at the time of the initial survey with employment status five years later. The researchers hypothesized that those who identified disincentives, health factors, and a lack of resources as barriers to employment in the initial survey would be less likely to be working five years later than those who did not identify those items as barriers.
Setting:  Two hospitals in the Midwestern United States and a specialty hospital in the Southeastern United States
Study sample:  The participants (N=605) that participated in both portions of the study were adults that were at least one year post SCI. The study sample was largely male (68%) and Caucasian (80%). The average participant age at the time of the study was 45.9 years.
Control or comparison condition:  Perceived barriers to employment and employment outcomes five years later
Data collection and analysis:  The initial data was collected in 1998 through the Life Survey Questionnaire-Revised. The 1998 survey included a checklist of perceived barriers to employment for those that were unemployed at the time. Participants completed the same questionnaire again in 2003 and indicated their employment status on it. A chi square statistic was used to determine the association of perceived barriers in 1998 with employment status in 2003.
Findings:  Actively looking for work and hoping to return to work in 1998 were associated with the best employment rates in 2003. Perception of health limitations as barriers to employment were the biggest barriers to employment among the study sample.
Conclusions:  This study was limited in scope and should be viewed only as a pilot sample. However, improving the health of persons with SCI appears to be a prominent method of returning them to work. Future research should hone in on special populations within study samples such as this one.

Disabilities served:  Spinal cord injury (SCI)
Populations served:  Gender: Female and Male
Interventions:  Vocational rehabilitation
Outcomes:  Employment acquisition
Return to work