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Barriers to vocational effectiveness in ACT: staff perspectives.

Authors
  • Waynor, William R
  • Pratt, Carlos W
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2011
Volume
17
Issue
1
Pages
72–79
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/1078390310394844
PMID: 21659297
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Assertive community treatment (ACT), for persons with serious mental illness, includes a vocational focus as an important aspect of community integration. Nevertheless, research suggests that ACT does not assist significant numbers of consumers in achieving employment goals. A two-step survey of New Jersey ACT team members was designed to identify the key issues that hinder ACT staff members in assisting consumers with obtaining employment. Survey items were categorized into three sections: (a) staff attitudes, (b) consumer barriers, and (c) staff barriers to working on employment. The initial survey asked staff members to rate items in each of these categories. Highly rated items were used in a subsequent paired comparison survey to determine the relative importance of each. This method highlighted the following issues: four staff attitude items-(a) returning to work is positive, (b) employment is key to recovery, (c) abstinence from substance abuse is needed to work, and (d) consumers are too ill to work; four consumer barrier items-(a) fear of loss of Social Security Administration benefits, (b) symptoms related to the illness, (c) lack of motivation, and (d) poor social skills; and three barriers to working on employment issues items-(a) clinical issues take priority, (b) other case management issues takes priority, and (c) too many emergencies. The implications for staff training are discussed.

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