The relationship between employment and social participation among australians with a disabling chronic health condition

a cross-sectional analysis

Emily Callander*, Deborah J. Schofield

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objectives: Social interaction may be particularly important for people with chronic health conditions, due to the numerous benefits to an individual's health. This paper aims to determine if labour force participation is a factor that influences individuals with chronic health conditions partaking in social or cultural events. Design and setting: The study undertakes a crosssectional analysis of the 2009 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, a nationally representative survey of the Australian population. Participants: 33 376 records of persons aged 25-64years. Outcome measures: Participation in social and community activities. Results: It was found that after controlling for age, sex, level of highest education, income unit type and severity of disability, people with a chronic health condition that were in the labour force were more than twice as likely to be participating in social or community events (OR 2.54, 95% CI 1.95 to 3.29, p<0.0001), and in cultural events (OR 2.57, 95% CI 2.21 to 3.00, p<0.0001) as their counterparts who were out of the labour force. The results were then repeated, with the addition of income as a confounding variable. People with a chronic health condition that were in the labour force were still a little more than twice as likely to be participating in social or community events (OR 2.25, 95% CI 1.69 to 3.00, p<0.0001), and to be participating in cultural events (OR 2.08, 95% CI 1.76 to 2.45, p<0.0001) as their counterparts who were out of the labour force. Conclusions: Participating in the labour force may be an important driver of social participation among those with chronic health conditions, independent of income. People with chronic health conditions who are not in the labour force and do not participate in social or cultural activities may have a compounding disadvantage.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere002054
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalBMJ Open
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

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