Presentation T P26

T P26 (Poster Presentation):
Supervisors experiences of stakeholder cooperation in job placement for persons with mental health problems.

Presented by: Lisebet Skeie Skarpaas

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Skarpaas LS1,2, Ramvi E3, Stølås LL3, Aas RW2,1,3

  1. Department of Occupational Therapy, Prosthetics and Orthotics, Faculty of Health Sciences, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Science, Oslo, Norway
  2. Presenter, Stavanger, Norway
  3. Department of Health Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway



Many people with mental health problems are excluded from participation in paid work. Earlier research has revealed that stakeholders’ cooperation is a major challenge, and the supervisor’s engagement is essential in disability prevention. The aim of this study was to investigate challenges, from supervisors’ perspectives, in cooperation between the workplace, the person with mental health problems (trainee), social security, and health care while persons with mental health problems were on job placements in ordinary companies.


This study was designed as an explorative qualitative study. Semi-structured interviews were performed at the workplace (Jan-Feb 2013) with 15 supervisors who had experienced job placement for a total of at least 105 persons (mean 7, min-max. 1-30, SD 8), which all had experienced trainees with mental health problems. Data were analyzed by use of qualitative content analysis.


Six challenges emerged from the analysis describing challenges in cooperation. The three first were Motivational challenges; 1) Supervisor’s personal engagement, 2) Getting a realistic picture, and 3) Disclosure and knowledge of the problems. The last three were Continuity challenges; 4) Regular cooperation with the trainee through the placement process, 5) Building and maintaining relational aspects between supervisor and trainee, and 6) Cooperation flow with the social security system and other stakeholders. Two interrelated dilemmas emerged, the supervisors seemed ambivalent to; (I) how much they wanted to know about a trainee, and (II) if they should treat everybody equally or give preferential treatment.


From supervisors’ perspective, successful job placement of persons with mental health problems happens when the stakeholders are motivated and understand cooperation as a continuous process. Motivation enables by engagement, realism, disclosure and knowledge of the problems. Furthermore, supervisors experience relational dilemmas about pre-judging, privacy and equality.

Schedule Details

Tuesday September 30
12:45 - 13:45 Poster Viewing
Session: Mental disorders