Psychiatric Inpatient Treatment and Return to Work
People with mental diseases have a high risk of unemployment and they have only limited access to the labor market. The return to work is often associated with fears.
The present study aims to provide an overview of the number of hospitalized psychiatric patients with permanent employment. Moreover it should give an insight into the process of return to work, the experiences patients gain and the support they receive.
In the participating clinics we measured the number of patients with permanent employment. The main inclusion criteria for further survey were the status of permanent employment and age between 18 and 65. The participating patients were interviewed on two occasions, at the time of inclusion and 3 months after the patient was discharged. The questions addressed working conditions, job satisfaction and the process of return-to-work. For statistical analysis, descriptive statistics (frequencies, means, standard deviations) were used.
Only 21 % of n = 815 inpatients of the participating hospitals were permanently employed. Many patients did not return to work after being discharged. In many cases the interviewed patients saw a connection between their job and their current episode of illness. In this context patients reported unsatisfying workplace conditions such as long working hours, bad work organization and social conflicts.
For mentally ill patients, the employment rate in the primary labor market is devastating low. After psychiatric inpatient treatment patients are at high risk to lose their jobs. In order to prevent this development, work-related stress factors should be discussed with inpatients at an early stage and support should be provided during the return-to-work-process.