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Work participation among middle-aged persons with cerebral palsy or spina bifida - a longitudinal study

Journal article
Authors Marie Törnbom
Ulrica Jonsson
Katharina S Sunnerhagen
Published in Disability and Health Journal
Volume 7
Issue 2
Pages 251-255
ISSN 1936-6574
Publication year 2014
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation
Department of Social Work
Pages 251-255
Language en
Keywords Cerebral palsy, Spina bifida, Work, Employment, Education
Subject categories Social Work, Disability research


Background: Most studies of work participation among persons with cerebral palsy (CP) or spina bifida (SB) have focused on young adults, little is known about older adults. Objective: The aim of this study was to compare work participation in 2009 with 1997 (98). Methods: Two groups of persons with CP or SB in Gothenburg, Sweden with an IQ above 70 were interviewed using a structured questionnaire regarding work participation. Group (A) was studied in 1983 (n 5 55), in 1997 (n 5 42) and in 2009 (n 5 28). Group (B) was studied in 1998 (n 5 30) and in 2009 (n 5 25). In this study, the persons interviewed in 2009 were compared with their own data from 1997 (8), with a non-parametric test. Results: Work participation had significantly decreased ( p ! 0.004) since 1997 (8); more persons worked part time or had stopped working. Thirty-eight percent had continued their education during 1997 (8)e2009, most of them worked. Of 34 persons working in 2009, 56% had wage subsidies, an increase from 42% in 1997 (8). Of the persons who worked and had continued their education, 37.5% had wage subsidies while, among persons without continued education, 72% had this support. Transportation to work functioned but not as well as in 1997 (8). More persons used transportation for people with a disability in 2009 than in 1997 (8) and criticism was expressed about the transportation system. Conclusions: Results showed that work participation for middle-aged persons with CP or SB without intellectual disability decreased with age but continued education and wage subsidies facilitated work participation.

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