New publication – Young adults at risk of early work disability: Who are they?

The paper “Young adults at risk of early work disability: Who are they?” was recently published in BMC Public Health. The paper investigates baseline characteristics of participants in the SEED-trial.

A total of 96 young adults at risk of early work disability were included in the trial. Participants were aged 18-29 at the year of inclusion, were not in education or employment, were receiving temporary benefits due to various social or health-related problems, and were eligible for sheltered work training by the Norwegian Labor and Welfare Administration. The majority of participants were male, single, childless, and nearly half were living with their parent(s). Forty percent had less education than high-school, 33% reported reading or writing difficulties, and more than half reported hazardous drinking or active alcohol use disorders.

The results on health-related outcomes showed that the prevalence of psychological distress was high, which coincides with previous knowledge about the major reasons for early work disability in Norway. The more notable findings with important implications for measures targeting this group were related to psychosocial factors, including a high prevalence of bullying (66%) and exposure to violence (39%). When individuals who considered themselves to have an illness were asked about the reason for their illness, the most common responses were related to non-medical causes, especially relational problems such as loneliness and isolation.

In addition to preventive measures to reduce social exclusion by bullying and early dropout, the findings call for a broader focus on social as well as psychological factors in vocational rehabilitation efforts for young adults at risk of early work disability.

The paper is available online here: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-6095-0

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