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Supported Decision-Making: Implications from Positive Psychology for Assessment and Intervention in Rehabilitation and Employment

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Abstract

Purpose This article reviews existing literature on positive psychology, supported decision-making (SDM), employment, and disability. It examines interventions and assessments that have been empirically evaluated for the enhancement of decision-making and overall well-being of people with disabilities. Additionally, conceptual themes present in the literature were explored. Methods A systematic review was conducted across two databases (ERIC and PsychINFO) using various combination of keywords of ‘disabilit*’, work rehabilitation and employment terms, positive psychology terms, and SDM components. Seven database searches were conducted with diverse combinations of keywords, which identified 1425 results in total to be screened for relevance using their titles and abstracts. Database search was supplemented with hand searches of oft-cited journals, ancestral search, and supplemental search from grey literature. Results Only four studies were identified in the literature targeting SDM and positive psychology related constructs in the employment and job development context. Results across the studies indicated small to moderate impacts of the assessment and interventions on decision-making and engagement outcomes. Conceptually there are thematic areas of potential overlap, although they are limited in the explicit integration of theory in supported decision-making, positive psychology, disability, and employment. Conclusion Results suggest a need for additional scholarship in this area that focuses on theory development and integration as well as empirical work. Such work should examine the potential utility of considering positive psychological interventions when planning for SDM in the context of career development activities to enhance positive outcomes related to decision-making, self-determination, and other positive psychological constructs.

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Acknowledgements

Valuable assistance and comments were received from Peter Blanck and Meera Adya. The research reported here was supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Community Living, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, through Cooperative Agreement #90DM0001-01-00, National Resource Center for Supported Decision Making, awarded to Quality Trust, with a subcontract to the University of Kansas. The research was also supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Community Living, National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research through Grant 90DP0076-01-00 awarded to Syracuse University with a subcontract to the University of Kansas. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This line of study was also supported in part by Grants from the Administration on Community Living (ACL) and the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), in the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for the NIDILRR Southeast ADA Center Grant #90DP0090-01-00, the NIDILRR Community Living and Supported Decision-Making DRRP Grant #90DP0076, and the NIDILIRR Americans with Disabilities Act Participatory Action Research Consortium (ADA-PARC) Grant # H133A120008; and, by the Office for Disability and Employment Policy (ODEP), in the U.S. Department of Labor. For additional information on these projects and related funding, see http://bbi.syr.edu. This paper includes results from analysis of secondary data which were not collected by the authors.

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Hatice Uyanik, Karrie Shogren, and Peter Blanck declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Uyanik, H., Shogren, K.A. & Blanck, P. Supported Decision-Making: Implications from Positive Psychology for Assessment and Intervention in Rehabilitation and Employment. J Occup Rehabil 27, 498–506 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10926-017-9740-z

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