Other/Miscellaneous Disabilities

Correlates of return to work for breast cancer survivors.

Bouknight, R. R., Bradley, C. J., & Luo, Z. (2006). "Correlates of return to work for breast cancer survivors." Journal of Clinical Oncology: Official Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, 24(3): 345-353.

PURPOSE: To identify correlates of return to work for employed breast cancer survivors. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients included 416 employed women with newly diagnosed breast cancer identified from the Metropolitan Detroit Cancer Surveillance System. Patients were interviewed by telephone 12 and 18 months after diagnosis. Correlates of return to work at 12 and 18 months were identified using multivariate logistic regression. RESULTS: More than 80% of patients returned to work during the study period, and 87% reported that their employer was accommodating to their cancer illness and treatment. After adjusting for demographic characteristics, health status, cancer stage, treatment, and job type, heavy lifting on the job (odds ratio = 0.42; 95% CI, 0.18 to 0.99), perceived employer accommodation for cancer illness and treatment (odds ratio = 2.2; 95% CI, 1.03 to 4.8), and perceived employer discrimination because of a cancer diagnosis (odds ratio = 0.27; 95% CI, 0.10 to 0.71) were independently associated with return to work at 12 months after breast cancer diagnosis, and perceived employer accommodation (odds ratio = 2.3; 95% CI, 1.06 to 5.1) was independently associated with return to work at 18 months after breast cancer diagnosis. CONCLUSION: A high percentage of employed breast cancer patients returned to work after treatment, and workplace accommodations played an important role in their return. In addition, perceived employer discrimination because of cancer was negatively associated with return to work for breast cancer survivors. Employers seem to have a pivotal role in breast cancer patients' successful return to work.

Factors associated with disclosure of HIV/AIDS to employers among individuals who use job accommodations & those who do not.

Conyers, L., & Boomer, K. B. (2005). "Factors associated with disclosure of HIV/AIDS to employers among individuals who use job accommodations and those who do not." Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 22(3): 189-198.

This article presents the findings from a research study investigating the patterns of job accommodation use and factors associated with disclosure of HIV/AIDS status to employers among a sample of 84 employed individuals with HIV/AIDS. Overall, more than half of the sample (52%, n = 43) used some form of job accommodation. Of these, 14% reported that they could not work without their accommodations and 34% indicated that they did not know if they could work without accommodation. Logistic regression analyses indicated that the factors associated with disclosure of HIV/AIDS status to employers are different among participants who used accommodations and those who did not. Implications for rehabilitation practice and research are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)

Accommodation and discrimination: Workplace experiences of individuals who are HIV+ and individuals with cancer.

Fesko, S. L. (1998). "Accommodation and discrimination: Workplace experiences of individuals who are HIV+ and individuals with cancer." Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 59(6-B): 2715.

Maintaining one's role in the workplace despite significant health concerns can be important in meeting an individual's emotional and economic needs. This qualitative research study reviewed the workplace experiences of eighteen individuals who are HIV+ and fourteen people who have cancer. Questions addressed in the study included: what was the impact of their illness on their work life; whether they disclosed their health status and what was the reactions of co-workers and supervisors; what, if any, accommodations did they receive; what concerns did they have about their health and employment and who was supportive of them in dealing with employment issues. Significant findings included that there were many similarities in experiences between people who were HIV+ and those with cancer. Despite many common themes, there were some noticeable differences that included: (1) all of the people with cancer told people in their workplace of their health status as compared to a third of those who were HIV+; (2) an additional one-third of people who were HIV+ told selective co-workers or their supervisor and the final third told no one; (3) men who were HIV+ were more likely than women to have fully disclosed their status; (4) a greater percentage of people with cancer received accommodations and they typically received multiple accommodations; (5) both groups received a range of reactions from co-workers and supervisors, but the majority reported a positive response; (6) individuals who were HIV+ reported more negative reactions from co-workers or supervisors than those with cancer; (7) twice as many people who were HIV+ reported discriminatory experiences in the workplace; and (8) all of the people with cancer who felt they had been discriminated against had pursued legal avenues while none of the people who were HIV+ had explored their legal options. Recommendations for individuals with significant health concerns, employers and rehabilitation counselors are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

Disclosure of HIV status in the workplace: Considerations & strategies.

Fesko, S. L. (2001). "Disclosure of HIV status in the workplace: Considerations and strategies." Health & Social Work, 26(4): 235-244.

Reviews qualitatively the workplace experiences and disclosure decisions of 18 HIV-positive individuals (aged 23-50 yrs). The most frequently cited reasons for disclosing HIV status were to explain choices they were making as they interviewed for a job and concerns about their job performance and the need for accommodations. For individuals who disclosed their HIV status to selective members of the workplace or disclosed to no one, the primary reasons given were preference for privacy, nature of the work environment, and fear of possible consequences. In conclusion, the authors discuss the practice, policy, and research implications for social workers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

Workplace experiences of individuals who are HIV+ & individuals with cancer.

Fesko, S. L. (2001). "Workplace experiences of individuals who are HIV+ and individuals with cancer." Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 45(1): 2-11.

Maintaining one's role in the workplace despite significant health concerns can be important in meeting an individual's emotional and economic needs. This qualitative research study reviewed the workplace experiences of 18 individuals (aged 23-50 yrs) who are HIV+ and 14 people (aged 31-60 yrs) who have cancer. Questions addressed the following issues: the impact of illness on their work life; whether they disclosed their health status and, if so, the reactions of co-workers and supervisors; and what accommodations, if any, they received. Results indicate that although their health problems had a significant impact on their work life, they wanted to continue to work and enjoy the benefits that come from having a job. A majority of the Ss reported positive experiences, In most situations, others in the workplace were responsive, but it remains incumbent upon individuals to advocate for themselves in seeking to have needs met. Recommendations for individuals with significant health concerns, employers, and rehabilitation counselors are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

Employers' attitudes to employment of people with epilepsy: Still the same old story?

Jacoby, A., Gorry, J., & Baker, G. A. (2005). "Employers' attitudes to employment of people with epilepsy: Still the same old story?" Epilespsia (Series 4), 46(12): 1978-1987.

Purpose: One area of life quality known to be compromised by having epilepsy is employment, and one factor contributing to the employment problems of people with epilepsy (PWE) is employer attitudes. Much research on this topic is now outdated and given the changing legal, medical, and social contexts in which PWE live, we therefore reexamined employer attitudes in the United Kingdom. Method: A mail survey of a random sample of U.K. companies selected to be representative of the 14 U.K. economic regions and proportional to the number of employees. Findings: The overall response rate was 41% (n = 204). Twenty-six percent of respondents reported having experience of employing PWE. Sixteen percent considered that there were no jobs in their company suitable for PWE; 21% thought employing PWE would be "a major issue." Employers were uniformly of the view that PWE, even when in remission, should disclose their condition to a prospective employer.

Perceived employment barriers & their relation to workforce-entry intent among people with HIV/AIDS.

Martin, D. J., Brooks, R. A., Ortiz, D. J., & Veniegas, R. C. (2003). "Perceived employment barriers and their relation to workforce-entry intent among people with HIV/AIDS." Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 8(3): 181-194.

As treatments have improved health and quality of life for people with HIV/AIDS, many have contemplated workforce reentry. Workforce reentry rarely occurs among people with illness-related disability. The authors mailed a survey that included workforce-entry-related concerns to 1,991 HIV/AIDS clients. Factor analysis extracted 6 areas of concern (benefits loss, work-related health, job skills, discrimination, personal health care, workplace accommodation). Levels of concern generally increased with HIV acuity level and time since last worked. Work-related health concerns predicted consideration of workforce entry, and work-related health concerns and benefits-loss concerns predicted estimated time to return to work. Findings provide quantitative validation of intuitive categories of workforce-entry concerns among people with HIV/AIDS and suggest that concerns may shift with progress toward workforce entry. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

Reducing workplace barriers to enhance job satisfaction: An important post-employment service for employees with chronic illnesses.

Roessler, R. T., & Rumrill, P. D., Jr. (1998). "Reducing workplace barriers to enhance job satisfaction: An important post-employment service for employees with chronic illnesses." Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 10(3): 219-229.

Examined the factors associated with job satisfaction among 41 employed people (aged 23-66 yrs) with chronic illnesses. The interview protocol included biographical questions, comprehensive checklists on barriers to workplace access and performance of essential functions, and job mastery and job satisfaction questions based on the Career Mastery Inventory (J. Crites, 1990). Results indicate that job satisfaction is a function of the number of job mastery and accessibility/performance of essential function barriers occurring in the workplace. Hence, reduction of workplace barriers is an important post-employment service goal for employees with chronic illnesses. High priority post-employment services include (a) objective assessment of barriers to productivity in the workplace and (b) job accommodation and career counseling interventions to reduce or remove the barriers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

Employer opinions about accommodating employees with chronic illnesses.

Roessler, R. T., & Sumner, G. (1997). "Employer opinions about accommodating employees with chronic illnesses." Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, 28(3): 29-34.

Examined employers' (1) opinions regarding accommodating people with chronic illnesses in the workplace; (2) experiences with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); and (3) concerns related with working with employees with chronic illnesses. Representing larger corporations in manufacturing, financial services, and retailing, 83 business personnel responded to a survey addressing chronic illness and job accommodation. Ss reported that their companies had reviewed their job descriptions and developed written accommodation policies following passage of the ADA. Favorably disposed toward a variety of accommodations, Ss expressed concerns about the costs of accommodations and whether accommodations interfered with typical work schedules. Complimentary of employees with chronic illnesses, the Ss voiced some concerns about productivity-related issues. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)