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Work ability as obscure, complex and unique: Views of Swedish occupational therapists and physicians
Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Division of Occupational Therapy, Umeå University, SE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden .
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences.
Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Division of Occupational Therapy, Umeå University, SE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden .
Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
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2013 (English)In: Work: A journal of Prevention, Assesment and rehabilitation, ISSN 1051-9815, E-ISSN 1875-9270, Vol. 45, no 1, 117-128 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The concept of work ability is not clearly defined although it has a central place in vocational rehabilitation. Several health professions are involved in assessing work ability, physicians and occupational therapists are two of these. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to explore occupational therapist and physician views about work ability and experiences in assessing work ability. PARTICIPANTS: Fourteen physicians and 23 occupational therapists participated in seven focus group discussions that were audio taped and transcribed verbatim. METHODS: Qualitative content analysis was used. Each author performed an individual preliminary analysis. These analyses were later discussed and refined in the research team and a workshop. The final categorization resulted in one theme, four categories and 13 sub-categories. RESULTS: The overall theme expressed work ability as an obscure, complex and unique concept. The four categories illustrate the affecting factors and confirm the complex structure of work ability: the person, the context of life, the work, and the society. Physicians expressed greater difficulty in assessing work ability than occupational therapists did, because they have fewer instruments to access this concept. CONCLUSIONS: Assessment of work ability requires team cooperation with several different professionals. Cooperation could increase accuracy in issuing sickness certification and strengthens the ability of identifying individual requirements for rehabilitation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 45, no 1, 117-128 p.
Keyword [en]
Focus groups, sick leave, sickness certification, work capacity evaluation
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-19936DOI: 10.3233/WOR-2012-1416ISI: 000318769600013Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84880203174OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-19936DiVA: diva2:654756
Available from: 2013-10-08 Created: 2013-09-25 Last updated: 2013-10-08Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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