International Journal Of Occupational Health and Public Health Nursing

Unemployed People’s Experiences and Feedback of Preventive Health Care Services in Finland

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  • Abstract

    The aim of our study is to describe unemployed people’s experiences of preventive health care services, and to investigate how the health care system responds to their individual needs. We conducted the study under the name Occupational Health Counseling project, in Kuopio, Finland, between 2008 and 2010. We examined the transition from one service to another from the unemployed person’s perspective whilst also canvassing their views on health and work ability. According to general consensus the link between health services and employment activities should be flexible between authorities. However, currently a health check is still quite separate from employment activities. Participants’ satisfaction with the service was high. When targeted at the unemployed, this special type of health service meets clients’ needs very well. Nonetheless, more attention should be paid to individuals who report reduced subjective health. Young unemployed people especially benefit from objective health evaluations, and it imbues them with self-confidence. Preventive health care services for the unemployed are important and services should be offered actively to them. Finnish law requires municipalities to arrange these services but still they are not active in every region. Also the process and contents of the services vary considerable. The situation has improved during the last few years, but work is still needed to ensure the continuation and development of the services. Also, this study shows that preventive health care services for the unemployed are important from the international point of view. The unemployed have many health care needs in common.