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TraJect: At Work?!

Intervention to improve work participation of young adults with physical disabilities
Publication date: 01 January 2009

‘At work’ is a multidisciplinary vocational rehabilitation intervention aimed at empowering young adults with physical disabilities and supporting them in finding a suitable job (i.e. attuned to their physical abilities).

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Results of pilot study

For this project, we interviewed 19 adolescents with a chronic condition who completed the intervention 'At Work'. The barriers and facilitators they experienced while entering to the labour market were identified. Also, the extent to which the intervention acts on reported barriers and facilitators according the respondents was explored.  One of the results is that, primarily, self-esteem is important when starting labour participation. Respondents acknowledged the positive influence of peer support, facilitated through the intervention At Work, on their self-esteem. Furthermore, adolescents emphasized their need for support to deal with a social work environment. They find it difficult to explain the repercussions of their condition concerning work and often encounter a lack of understanding with their employer and colleagues. Although the job-coach that facilitates the intervention At Work, helps the respondents to inform the employer about the chronic condition, respondents recommended incorporating more disclosure and assertiveness training into the intervention. The results are currently being processed for two international peer-reviewed journals.

Implementation project intervention 'At Work?!' TraJect

A prospective study will be conducted in order to identify the effect of the intervention 'At Work' in different location on work participation and self-efficacy for work. The intervention 'At Work' is implemented in three other rehabilitation centers in the Netherlands via the national platform TransitionNet. In order to facilitate the implementation a 'train the trainer'- course was provided. The goals of this implementation project were:

  • The development and implementation of a train-the-trainer course,
  • The creation of a local network in the field of integration and re-integration,
  • The monitoring and evaluation of the intervention.

Much experience and knowledge concerning the implementation of the intervention in other rehabilitation centers outside Rotterdam was gained during this implementation project.

Multicenter effectiveness study intervention 'At Work?!'

The multidisciplinary vocational rehabilitation intervention 'At work?!' was designed for young adults with physical disabilities entering the labor market, aiming to improve (abilities to achieve) work participation. In this multicenter effectiveness study, we evaluate the effect of the intervention 'At Work?!' on work participation as well as on self-efficacy for work. The data collection in the intervention- and control group is started late 2012, and will continue until late 2014 (10 groups). Around 43 participants will be included in the study.

The pilot-study and the trial implementation were carried out by Joan Verhoef and Harald Miedema, in close collaboration with Marij Roebroeck and Monique Floothuis of the outpatient rehabilitation clinic of the Erasmus MC department of rehabilitation medicine and Rijndam Rehabilitation Centre, and Natascha van Schaardenburgh of Bureau Volzin.

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