The development of an intervention to support job retention and return to work for individuals with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Canham, Joanna
  • Subject: BF | RC0321

This research explores the links between bipolar disorder and work. It focuses on the factors that impact an individual’s ability to work and explores whether a simple intervention to support all the key stakeholders (employees with bipolar disorder, line managers and occupational health professionals) involved in the process can be effective. This thesis involved three distinct parts.\ud In the first part a qualitative focus group study explored the views and experiences of the employee, line manager and occupational health professional (OH) participants with respect to the management of bipolar disorder and work. Consensus was reached across the three groups on the main challenges to managing work and bipolar disorder and the solutions to overcome these. The three groups were in agreement on the key areas to be addressed in the intervention to meet the needs of each stakeholder group.\ud In the second part, a qualitative questionnaire study explored the employment patterns and the impact of clinical and demographic variables on the employment outcome across a large sample of participants with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. This study identified that individuals with bipolar disorder can obtain and sustain employment for prolonged periods, with some reporting sickness absence levels that match those without a mood disorder.\ud It also identified the key clinical and demographical variablesbest associated with employment outcome, which included educational attainment, age of onset of contact with psychiatric services and length of longest psychiatric hospital admission. In the
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