Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 52 Number 4, 2015
   Pages 477 — 490

Abstract — Mixed methods study examining work reintegration experiences from perspectives of Veterans with mental health disorders

Marina Kukla, PhD;1–2* Nicholas A. Rattray, PhD;1,3 Michelle P. Salyers, PhD2,4

1Health Services Research and Development, Center for Health Information and Communication, Richard L. Roudebush Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Indianapolis, IN; Departments of 2Psychology, and 3Anthropology, Indiana University–Purdue University, Indianapolis, IN; 4ACT Center of Indiana, Indianapolis, IN

Abstract — Recent findings have demonstrated that reintegration for Veterans is often challenging. One difficult aspect of reintegration—transitioning into the civilian workplace—has not been fully explored in the literature. To address this gap and examine work reintegration, this mixed methods study examined the perspectives of Veterans with mental health disorders receiving Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare. Forty Veterans rated factors that affect work success; participants also provided narratives on their most and least successful work experiences. We used t-tests and qualitative analysis to compare participants who did and did not serve in combat. Several themes relevant to work reintegration emerged in the narratives, particularly for Veterans who served in combat. An array of work difficulties were reported in the months following military discharge. In addition, Veterans who served in combat reported significantly more work barriers than Veterans who did not serve in combat, particularly health-related barriers. In conclusion, Veterans with mental health disorders who served in combat experienced more work reintegration difficulty than their counterparts who did not serve in combat. The role of being a Veteran affected how combat Veterans formed their self-concept, which also shaped their work success and community reintegration, especially during the early transition period.

Key words: combat, employment, mental health, posttraumatic stress disorder, reintegration, self-concept, severe mental illness, transition, Veterans, work.

View HTML ¦ View PDF ¦ Contents Vol. 52, No.4

This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Kukla M, Rattray NA, Salyers MP. Mixed methods study examining work reintegration experiences from perspectives of Veterans with mental health disorders. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2015;52(4):477–90.

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