Working Horizons is an intervention designed to prevent work disability by addressing the internal and external barriers faced by people with arthritis in their attempts to enter or maintain their positions in the employment arena. The aim of the pilot study was to determine whether Working Horizons influenced participants' self-efficacy and psychological well-being and to describe the experience of Working Horizons from the perspectives of participants and employment advisors (EAs). The study was a pre-test post-test design with an Intervention Group (n=22) and Comparison Control Group (n=22). Quantitative data were collected by self-completed questionnaires at baseline and at six-months follow-up. Qualitative data were collected via open questions on the questionnaires, interviews with a sub-sample of 10 participants, and a focus group with EAs at the end of the programme. Pilot data suggested that Working Horizons was effective in terms of increasing participants' job-seeking self-efficacy. In addition, the Intervention Group showed significant improvements on self-esteem and satisfaction with life. Qualitative findings confirmed that participants felt more ‘confident’ in relation to seeking employment, were more accepting of their condition, felt more positive and had greater awareness of the social model of disability. Participants valued the emotional and instrumental support provided by the EAs, who acted as successful ‘work’ role models. Interventions, such as Working Horizons, may be an effective means of addressing work disability, acting as a gateway to statutory services. The value of suitable role models in mentoring capacities was highlighted
|International Journal of Rehabilitation Research
|Published - Dec 2003
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