Support for gaining paid work for people living with a long-term condition

The AUT Centre for Person Centred Research has completed a systematic review of the evidence on what works to support people living with a range of long-term health conditions to get into paid work:

Support for gaining employment for people with long-term conditions: A systematic review.

The review was part of research funded through a grant from the Health Research Council and the Ministry of Social Development. The team was led by Dr Jo Fadyl.

To support the research process, our strategic advisor Dr Helen Lockett convened a mental health advisory group made up of people with lived experience and health and employment practitioners.

Dr Fadyl said, “While being a robust systematic review, one of the cornerstones of this work was the involvement of stakeholder reference groups throughout the process to ensure relevance to local context and practice. I have thoroughly enjoyed the project. It led to findings that are highly relevant right now, as well as nurturing partnerships that will lead to further work.

The review found:

  • networking and relationship-based job searches are a more successful strategy than relying on advertisements or job centres
  • strategies focused on developing positive employment experiences of people are crucial – these help to shift attitudes and expectations
  • the individual placement and support (IPS) approach is the intervention with the strongest evidence base for effectiveness for people with a mental health diagnosis
  • IPS employment principles and practices align with the findings from their qualitative research review, addressing the barriers people identified when returning to employment – including the integration of employment specialists with treatment teams, personalised job search, financial advice and on-going support once working
  • as it is implemented, the IPS employment approach should be further developed within the Aotearoa New Zealand context, in particular incorporating and building from Māori values and perspectives.

The full report is currently being reviewed by the Health Research Council.

IPS in New Zealand