International Journal Of Occupational Health and Public Health Nursing

Factors associated with health and work ability among long-term unemployed individuals

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  • Abstract 

    Objectives: We investigated psychosocial and physical factors associated with health and work ability among the long-term unemployed, and their experiences regarding their health and work ability. Methods: Data were collected by a questionnaire (n=216), and by interviews (n=20). Survey data was analysed with logistic regression. Results: Positive mental health was associated with both health and work ability when examining their relationship with psychosocial factors. In addition, life satisfaction and confidence in finding paid employment were associated with health, and maintaining personal relationships was associated with work ability. When physical functioning variables were added to the regression model, confidence in finding paid employment, physical fitness and good functioning were associated with health. Physical fitness and functioning were associated with work ability. In the interview data, health problems emerged as an obstacle to employment. Conclusion: A positive attitude, satisfaction and faith in the future were emphasised in connection with experiences of health. With respect to experiences of work ability, the social dimension, i.e. personal relationships and their maintenance, was emphasised. The significance of good physical fitness in both good health and good work ability is notable. Activities that foster participation and a positive outlook should be offered for the long-term unemployed.

    Keywords: unemployment, health, work ability, functional capacity