Development and evaluation of a strength-based method to promote employment of work-disability benefit recipients with multiple problems: A feasibility study

K. A. Brongers*, B. Cornelius, J. J. L. van der Klink, S. Brouwer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Background
For people with disabilities, chances to find or keep work are negatively affected by multiple problems like lower education, poverty and poor health. Furthermore, although active labour market policies proved to be effective for unemployed in general, success rates are poor for persons who are unemployed due to multiple problems. The present study aims to describe the development of a method as well as professional training to teach its application, and to assess the feasibility of method and training. The Strength-based method (CARm) aims to promote employment of work-disability benefit recipients with multiple problems.

Methods
The main principles of the Strength model were redesigned for better applicability in a population of work-disability beneficiaries, resulting in the CARm method. As part of the CARm method, a training module for Labour Experts (LEs) was developed. To assess the new designed method and training, a one-group, pre-post design was used. Data were collected from eight participating LEs, five female and 3 male, aged between 41and 55 years and having 2–17 years working experience. We used self-report questionnaires and a semi-structured discussion meeting after the training sessions with the LEs.

Results
Eight labour experts (LEs) from the Dutch Social Security Institute participated in the study. Most LEs felt an improvement in their ability to ascertain developmental needs, opportunities and threats in the client’s situation. Three months after the training, LEs almost unanimously agreed on the statements ‘I expect to use the CARm method more frequently in the future’ and ‘I use the CARm method in daily practice whenever possible’. The overall rating for the training on a scale from 1 to 10 was 7.6 (range 7–9). The overall satisfaction with the trainers was good.

Conclusions
The CARm method and training was found to be a feasible approach to facilitate LEs working at the UWV reintegration service to support clients with multiple problems. Sufficient managerial support for participating LEs is a key factor for successful implementation of CARm. Results show that CARm is worth testing for efficacy in a future trial.
Original languageEnglish
Article number71
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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