Perceived experiences of unemployed people with spinal cord injury in the process of returning to work

Document Type : Original Articles


1 MSc in Occupational Therapy, Head of Occupational Therapy in Rofeydeh Hospital, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Health Education, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran



Introduction: Loss of work and barriers to return to work are among the consequences of spinal Cord Injury (SCI). This article will represent some results of a previous study named "Perceived Life Experiences of People with Spinal Cord Injury in the Process of Returning to Work in Qom City". The aim of this latter study was to determine the factors that may facilitate or impede return to work in people with SCI.Materials and Methods: It was a qualitative study with a phenomenological design. Participants of this study were men with paraplegic SCI who were registered in Qom Welfare Office. Sampling was accomplished through the objective-based method and terminated when sufficient data were obtained. The total number of participants reached to 20 participants who were then placed in two groups consisting of 10 employed and 10 unemployed people each. Data collection was completed via conducting semi-structural interviews and the interpretation of data was made by Van Mennen method.Results: As a whole, 6 central themes representing the experiences of participants were found in this study.Conclusion: According to the analysis of experiences, we found some differences between employment and unemployment participants that illustrated the causes of success or failure in returning to work. In fact incorrect perceive of physical problems, dependent and passive personality, negative attitude to the issues and absences of family support were the special barriers to returning to work in unemployed participants.Keywords: Spinal cord injury (SCI), Employment, Return to work

  • Receive Date: 12 January 2012
  • Revise Date: 19 April 2024
  • Accept Date: 22 May 2022