Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 183–195

Shame-Inducing Encounters. Negative Emotional Aspects of Sickness-Absentees' Interactions with Rehabilitation Professionals

Authors

  • Tommy Svensson
    • Division of Social Medicine and Public Health Science, Department of Health and EnvironmentFaculty of Health Sciences
  • Agneta Karlsson
    • Division of Social Medicine and Public Health Science, Department of Health and EnvironmentFaculty of Health Sciences
  • Kristina Alexanderson
    • Division of Social Medicine and Public Health Science, Department of Health and EnvironmentFaculty of Health Sciences
    • Personal Injury Prevention, Department of Clinical NeuroscienceKarolinska Institutet
  • Cecilia Nordqvist
    • Division of Social Medicine and Public Health Science, Department of Health and EnvironmentFaculty of Health Sciences
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1024905302323

Cite this article as:
Svensson, T., Karlsson, A., Alexanderson, K. et al. J Occup Rehabil (2003) 13: 183. doi:10.1023/A:1024905302323

Abstract

There is little knowledge on how sickness absentees experience encounters with rehabilitation professionals. This paper explores and describes negative emotions (“shame” in a broad sense) experienced by individuals on sick leave in their interactions with rehabilitation professionals. We performed a qualitative analysis of data from five focus-group interviews. The participants had experience of sickness absence with back diagnoses and discussed factors that facilitate or impede return to work. Reports of demeaning experiences in encounters with rehabilitation workers were frequent and could be divided into two major categories: 1) subjects perceived the behavior of rehabilitation professionals as distanced in a negative way, and felt that they were treated in an indifferent and nonchalant manner or fairly routinely; 2) subjects felt that they were disqualified, which included being discredited or belittled. This explorative study indicates the need for further, more directed investigations of emotional aspects of interactions between sickness absentees and rehabilitation professionals.

Sickness absencelay perspectiveencounterrehabilitationshamefocus-group interviews

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003