Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Verhoef, J.A.C., Bramsen, I., Miedema, H.S., Stam, H.J., Roebroeck, M.E. and the Transition and Lifespan Research Group South West Netherlands (2014). Development of work participation in young adults with cerebral palsy: A longitudinal study. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 46 648-655.
Title:  Development of work participation in young adults with cerebral palsy: A longitudinal study
Authors:  Verhoef, J.A.C., Bramsen, I., Miedema, H.S., Stam, H.J., Roebroeck, M.E. and the Transition and Lifespan Research Group South West Netherlands
Year:  2014
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine
Publisher: 
DOI:  https://doi.org/10.2340/16501977-1832
Full text:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24858956   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No

Structured abstract:

Background:  Employment rates for adults with cerebral palsy vary across countries. For example, in the United States and Sweden the rate is around 50%. In the Netherlands the rates are somewhat higher. Transition aged youth and young adults with cerebral palsy have reported difficulties with work. Research is needed to learn about characteristics, work limitations and barriers to work for this group.
Purpose:  The purpose of this observational longitudinal cohort study was to take a close look at the characteristics, limitations and barriers to work for young adults (who were aged 16 to 20 years at baseline) with cerebral palsy over time.
Study sample:  The participants were 47 young adults with cerebral palsy who were followed over a 4 year time span. The study inclusion criteria was diagnosis of cerebral palsy, aged 16-20 years, and average intelligence as indicated by an IQ score of equal or more than 70. The sample resides in the Netherlands.
Data collection and analysis:  Work participation (unemployed, employed or studying) was measured at baseline and again at 2 year and 4 year follow ups. Data was collected using a structured interview/questionnaire. Employed was defined as paid or unpaid work. for 12 or more hours a week. Unpaid work was included because it was viewed as a stepping stone to paid employment.
Findings:  Over the four year time span more individuals went to work (12% to 49%). There was also an increase in the percentage of individuals who became unemployed (3% to 17%). A drop in the number of participants who were studying was also seen (85% to 34%). When compared to the general population the rate of unemployment was higher for this group. Poor gross motor movement and younger age were related to unemployment. Those who were employed experienced few limitations. One out of four individuals employed reported barriers; like fatigue or pain or issues that impacted output or the physical demands on the job.
Conclusions:  Young adults with cerebral palsy and average intelligence are at risk for unemployment. Vocational rehabilitation interventions may be able to help prevent unemployment. More research is needed.

Disabilities served:  Cerebral palsy