Implementation of a novel return-to-work approach for persons with affective disorders in a traditional vocational rehabilitation context: A case study

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Background: The person-centred Individual Enabling and Support (IES) model is a novel return-to-work (RTW) intervention for people with affective disorders that was developed from evidence-based supported employment for persons with severe mental illness. Typically, supported employment is integrated into mental healthcare and provides a network around the service user and close collaboration with employment and insurance services and employers. Introducing integrated models into a highly sectored welfare system that includes traditional mental healthcare and vocational rehabilitation is challenging. Greater knowledge is needed to understand how facilitating or hindering factors influence this introduction. The aim of this study was to investigate essential components in implementation of the IES model. Methods: A case-study was conducted and included four mental healthcare services. Data collection was comprised of semi-structured interviews with 19 key informants, documentation from meetings, and reflection notes. Analyses were performed according to directed content analysis, using the components of the Consolidated Framework of Implementation Research (CFIR) as a guiding tool. Fidelity assessments were performed at 6 and 12 months. Results: Anticipating RTW support for the target group, and building collaborative relationships and a network with employment specialists that engaged staff in every organization were components that resulted in the greatest facilitation if IES implementation. Barriers consisted of difficulty in integrating employment specialists into the mental healthcare teams, insufficient engagement of first line managers, reorganization and differing perceptions of the IES model fit into a traditional vocational context. Delivery of the IES model had good fidelity. Conclusions: The IES model can be implemented with good fidelity, several model advantages, and context adaptation. Team integration difficulties and negative perceptions of model fit in a traditional vocational rehabilitation context can be overcome to a certain degree, but this is insufficient for sustainable implementation on a larger scale. Policy and guidelines need to promote integrative and person-centred RTW approaches rather than a segregated stepwise approach. Further implementation studies in the traditional vocational rehabilitation context are needed.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Umeå University
  • Göteborgs universitet

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Miljömedicin och yrkesmedicin


TidskriftInternational Journal of Mental Health Systems
Utgåva nummer1
StatusPublished - 2020
Peer review utfördJa