Learning Objective 1: To identify healthcare challenges for people with psychiatric disabilities who attempt to return to work.
Learning Objective 2: To identify strategies for interdisciplinary teams including nurse practitioners, psychiatrists, social workers, family members, and peer specialists for people with psychiatric disabilities.
Methods: Fifty people with severe mental illnesses were recruited for interviews through advocacy organizations and day rehabilitation centers. A semistructured guide was utilized for the audio-recorded interviews which were then transcribed. The researchers listened to the recordings, made corrections, and used QSR N6 software for content analysis. Data were sorted and coded acording to questionnaire categories wih free and tree nodes developing as the analysis progressed. Themes were checked for validity with a randomly selected subset of 10 subjects from those interviewed.
Results: Challenges to Employment included difficulty of maintaining a full time job while caring for their health needs and practitioner appointments, fears of losing their Medcaid coverage, anxiety during the job orientation process, and fears of stigma from fellow employees.
Conclusion: Recommendations were submitted to a legislative committee working on Medicaid reform, and included forming interdisciplinary teams including nurse practitioners, psychiatrists, pharmacists, social workes, family members, and peer specialists to facilitate more people returning to employment.