Senior researcher Care Demand of the Chronically Ill and Disabled; coordinator Panel of People with Lung Disease
Suffering from chronic illness and still working: the importance of illness perceptions.
Heijmans, M., Boot, C.R. Suffering from chronic illness and still working: the importance of illness perceptions. Psychology & Health: 2006, 21(suppl. 1) 66. Abstract. 20th Annual Conference of the European Health Psychology Society " Social change and new challenges for health psychology", Warsaw, Poland, on August 30th - September 2nd, 2006.
Objectives: To investigate the additive value of illness perceptions in the explanation of employment status in chronic disease over and above the role of objective and subjective disease severity. Methods: Cross-sectional study on 552 chronically ill either employed or fully work-disabled was undertaken. Results: Illness perceptions strongly correlated with employment status. Beliefs in serious consequences, an unpredictable time course, low controllability, less coherence and a belief in psychological causes were all related to un-employment. Illness perceptions increased the explained variance in employment status from 68 to 80%. Conclusions: Attention for illness perceptions should be incorporated structurally when supporting chronically ill in keeping their jobs or reintegrating on the labour market. (aut. ref.)