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    Importance of occupational support for NHS patients with mental illness

    Kamau-Mitchell, Caroline and Lopes, B. (2023) Importance of occupational support for NHS patients with mental illness. Occupational Medicine , ISSN 0962-7480.

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    Background: Unemployment is a structural inequality which raises the risk of premature deaths among people with mental illness. Aims: This study examined whether NHS patients with mental illness get support to find or keep a job because reducing unemployment rates can reduce the risk of premature mortality. Methods: This study analysed recently released data from 54 NHS trusts which randomly sampled patients for a Care Quality Commission survey. This study assessed 11,001 working-age patients with mental illness, of whom 50% are long-term service users (6+ years). Results: Perceived access to occupational support was poor with 46% of patients who wanted the support saying that they did not get help finding or returning to work. Perceived occupational support for physical comorbidities needed improvement because 40% of patients with physical comorbidities did not receive support for physical health needs. 25% said that medication side effects were not discussed, and 24% lacked medication follow-up although 87% of patients found medication beneficial to their mental health. Occupational support significantly benefited overall patient satisfaction to an equivalent extent as main treatment (that is, receiving medication and talking therapies), and it was a more consistent predictor of patient satisfaction than talking therapies. Conclusions: Improved access to schemes which reduce unemployment among NHS patients with mental illness is needed (e.g., individual placement and support programmes), although limited availability might be due to funding constraints. As well as addressing unemployment, occupational support should address other risk factors for premature mortality e.g., poverty, stigma, discrimination, and social exclusion.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Mental illness, Mental health, Supported Employment, Individual placement and Support, Occupational Medicine, Occupational health, Psychopathology and work, Mental disorders, NHS, National Health Service, Community mental health, Organisational psychology, Organizational psychology, Occupational rehabilitation, Occupational therapy, Psychiatry, Mortality, Patient satisfaction, Patient experience
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Research Centres and Institutes: Medical Humanities, Centre for
    Depositing User: Caroline Kamau
    Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2023 14:16
    Last Modified: 07 Feb 2024 18:19


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