Using psychology theory to guide serious-injury vocational rehabilitation: Predicting the use of job-retention interventions for those living with spinal cord injury
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BACKGROUND. Rehabilitation researchers have long regarded return to work as the “gold standard” by which to judge the success of the rehabilitation effort. Yet, while job acquisition following the suffering of a traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) has been extensively studied, there has been almost total neglect of job retention. As job withdrawal represents a substantial – albeit less-visible – employment outcome, rehabilitation interventions that address job withdrawal are vital.
OBJECTIVES. To examine whether the theory of reasoned action (TRA) or the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) is a better predictor of intervention-participation intention.
METHOD. Using purposive sampling, 35 SCI participants completed a structured online survey to assess their beliefs about 10 interventions designed to minimise the influence of specific job-withdrawal factors (i.e. so as to enhance job retention).
RESULTS. The TPB was the better predictor of participation intention, except for two interventions (tele-rehabilitation services; pre-employment workshops on assertiveness, information, legal rights and networks) for which the TRA explained an equal amount of variance.CONCLUSION. Application of the TRA and TPB conceptual framework provides rehabilitation professionals and policy-makers with rarely-reported evidence about potential intervention participation so as to more effectively guide public health decision-making.
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