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Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 543–556 | Cite as

Labour Market Status and Well-Being in the Context of Return to Work After Vocational Rehabilitation in Germany

  • Nancy ReimsEmail author
  • Ulrike Bauer
Article

Abstract

Introduction Although there is much empirical evidence for a given relationship between health and labour market status (LMS), the following study focuses on a group for which little is known in the German context: people with disabilities in vocational rehabilitation for the purpose of re-integration into the labour market. In this specific context, the article analyses how a change in LMS affects physical, mental and general health. Methods Using a panel survey, 857 people with disabilities in vocational rehabilitation and their subjective health condition were observed between 2008 and 2010. To reduce bias due to unobserved heterogeneity, fixed-effects panel regression is applied. Results Results show that a move from non-employment to employment positively affects—particularly general—subjective health. In addition to LMS, the level of occupational limitation due to disability appears to be of particular relevance in estimating health. Interacting both the level of occupational limitation and LMS reveals that non-employed people reporting serious occupational limitation due to their disability have the worst subjective health across all aspects. However, people in employment experiencing similarly serious limitations due to their disability do not differ much from this group. These may be regarded as having taken up disability–inappropriate employment. Conclusion The results suggest that re-integration into employment particularly improves several health aspects if rehabilitants are integrated in an occupational environment where disability does not present an occupational limitation. Thus, placement in disability–appropriate employment needs to be particularly encouraged.

Keywords

Vocational rehabilitation People with disabilities Occupational health Social participation Return to work 

Notes

Conflict of interest

Nancy Reims and Ulrike Bauer declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Employment ResearchNurembergGermany

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