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A study of the Employment Experiences of People with Schizophrenia
individualized and continuous support models
Abstract The purpose of this study was to examine the employment experiences of the people with schizophrenia. The research was conducted through qualitative research approach to interview four participants with schizophrenia who have been working for more than four years using semi-structured interview protocol. Data collected included interview transcripts, researcher’s field notes, and the participants rehabilitation records. The qualitative data were analyzed using software named NVivo10. The major findings of this study consisted of the employment experiences of the participants with schizophrenia, which can be divided into 6 phases: (1) Exploring occupational orientation; (2) Employment or school life being suspended because of the onset of schizophrenia; (3) Employment being suspended again because of the schizophrenia symptoms ;(4) Rehabilitating and re-exploring the self; (5) Adapting to a new workplace ;(6) Facing new challenges after stable employment periods. In addition, the impact factors of the employment experience of the participants with schizophrenia included the impact of the disease, the motivation of employment, the attitude of the job supervisors, the continuous support. According to the results of this study, suggestions were made. First, people with schizophrenia need to strengthen their awareness of the symptoms, identify the coping strategies, and learn how to express their difficulties and seek help. Second, the job supervisors need to avoid changing the job tasks of the participants with schizophrenia. Third, the halfway houses need to teach participants with schizophrenia how to improve their physical endurance, and keep in touch with their job supervisors. Fourth, the local governments need to develop individualized and continuous support models, expand the opportunities for interships, and increase the education about awareness of the mental illness. Finally, the research limitations and recommendations for future research are proposed. Key word : Schizophrenia, employment experiences, stable employment, individualized and continuous support models, halfway house.
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