Reclaiming the worker role: Perceptions of people with mental illness participating in IPS.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


People with severe mental illness are often successful in gaining work when participating in the evidence-based Individual Placement and Support (IPS) approach. Little evidence exists on how starting work is perceived by IPS participants. This qualitative study aimed to explore how IPS participants perceived working and the work environment to impact on their work performance.

Nineteen participants starting work in mainstream work settings were interviewed. Questions from the Work Environment Impact Scale were used and data was analysed by content analysis. The participants strove to fit in by coping with environmental demands and adapting to their worker role.

Work was perceived as having a positive impact on their daily life, although starting work was perceived as a challenge and the mental illness affected work performance. Personal strategies were needed in order to cope. They perceived both supportive and demanding factors in their work environments, such as the employer's support and the social atmosphere among colleagues.

The study showed that it is vital to focus on the individual's own strategies for adapting to the worker role when designing the support, as well as to develop collaborative relationships with employers and to optimize the match between the individual and the demands of the work environment.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Occupational Therapy
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Early online date2012 Jun 7
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Division of Occupational Therapy (Closed 2012) (013025000), Faculty of Medicine (000022000)

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