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Factors associated with employment and work perception in combat-exposed veterans.

Authors
  • Merritt, Victoria C1
  • Jurick, Sarah M2
  • Crocker, Laura D1
  • Keller, Amber V1
  • Hoffman, Samantha N1
  • Jak, Amy J2
  • 1 Research Service, VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS).
  • 2 Psychology Service, VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS).
Type
Published Article
Journal
Rehabilitation psychology
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2020
Volume
65
Issue
3
Pages
279–290
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1037/rep0000323
PMID: 32297778
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The purpose of this study was 2-fold: (a) to evaluate whether perception of work ability is associated with employment status in a sample of combat-exposed veterans, and (b) to determine whether the same sets of variables that are associated with employment status are also associated with perception of work ability. Research Method/Design: In this cross-sectional study, veterans (N = 83) underwent a neuropsychological assessment and completed questionnaires assessing demographic characteristics, combat-related experiences, and psychiatric and neurobehavioral/health-related symptoms. Primary outcomes of interest were employment status (unemployed vs. employed) and veterans' perception of whether their ability to work has declined due to an ongoing condition (yes vs. no). A chi-square analysis revealed a significant relationship between perception of work ability and employment status. Additionally, psychiatric and neurobehavioral/health-related symptoms were associated with employment status and perception of work ability, whereas demographic characteristics (i.e., service-connected disability rating) and combat-related experiences (i.e., mTBI history) were only associated with perception of work ability. Objective cognitive functioning was not associated with employment status or perception of work ability. Although preliminary, results suggest that perception of work ability is an important factor to consider when evaluating employment-related outcomes in veterans. Moreover, results indicate that while there is some overlap among the variables associated with employment status and perception of work ability, additional variables are linked with perception of work ability. Taken together, these findings suggest that perception of one's ability to work and factors that influence it may be particularly important treatment targets in the veteran population. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

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