Seminar Presentation 5-3

5-3 (Presentation within Topical Seminar 5):
Work accommodations and natural supports for helping people with severe mental disorders in supported employment programs maintain their employment

Presented by: Marc Corbière

Authors

Corbière M1, Villotti P2, Lecomte T3, Bond G4, Lesage A5, Goldner EM6

  1. Center for Action in Work Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation, and School of Rehabilitation, University of Sherbrooke, Canada
  2. Department of Psychology and Cognitive Science, University of Trento, Italy
  3. Fernand-Seguin Research Center Louis-H. Lafontaine Hospital, and Department of Psychology, University of Montreal, Canada
  4. Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center, Lebanon, NH
  5. Fernand-Seguin Research Center Louis-H. Lafontaine Hospital, and Department of Psychiatry, University of Montreal, Canada
  6. Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health & Addiction, Simon Fraser University, Canada

Abstract

Background

Job tenure for people with severe mental disorders, even for those enrolled in supported employment programs, is typically brief. Few studies to date have investigated the relationship between accommodations and natural supports available in the workplace, and job tenure for this population. The main objectives of this study were to develop a new measure to describe work accommodations and natural supports available in the workplace and to determine which of them are significantly related to job tenure for participants enrolled in supported employment services.

Methods

A total of 124 people with a severe mental disorder enrolled in supported employment programs and who obtained only one competitive employment at the 9-month follow-up answered the Work Accommodation and Natural Support Scale (WANSS). They also provided information regarding their disclosure (or non-) of mental disorders in the workplace and the length of their job tenure.

Results

Confirmatory Factor Analysis conducted on the WANSS showed 40 items distributed on six dimensions (e.g., Schedule flexibility). Correlation results showed that disclosure is significantly related to the number of work accommodations and natural supports available in the workplace. Survival analyses indicated that one WANSS dimension was more salient in predicting job tenure: Informational, instrument and appraisal support (from co-workers and the supervisor).

Conclusions

Work accommodations and natural supports in the workplace offered by co-workers and the supervisor are essential to help people with a severe mental disorder maintain competitive employment; the WANSS is a valid and useful tool to assess these concepts that employment specialists could use in their practice.