Health disparities among workers and nonworkers with functional limitations: implications for improving employment in the United States
Published Date:Dec 12 2012
Source:Disabil Rehabil. 35(17):1479-1490.
Disability And Health
Health Services Accessibility
Health Status Disparities
International Classification Of Functioning
International Classification Of Functioning, Disability And Health
Pubmed Central ID:PMC4924342
Funding:CC999999/Intramural CDC HHS/United States
The aim of this study was to compare workers and nonworkers who reported mild, moderate, and severe/complete functional limitations to identify disparities in 19 health and social indicators.
Using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health as our conceptual framework, we analyzed data from the combined 2000–2008 National Health Interview Survey, comparing workers and nonworkers by severity of functional limitations, as measured by the FL12 Scale of Functional Limitation Severity.
Only 9.5% of people reporting moderate/severe functional limitations worked. Although not without exception, not working and severity of functional limitation were associated with poorer health outcomes, with nonworkers reporting severe/complete limitations having least optimal health. Prevalence of chronic conditions was associated with level of functional limitation severity, with the strongest associations among nonworkers.
By focusing exclusively on people with functional limitations, we were better able to examine factors contributing to health and participation of workers and nonworkers. People who worked and had moderate or severe/complete limitations often did so while reporting poor health. With improved access to health care, health promotion activities, and other support systems, the quality of life and likelihood of work participation of people with greater functional limitations might also be improved.
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