Work activity in the process of recovery – an interpretive phenomenological analysis of the experiences of people with a schizophrenia spectrum diagnosis
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II Klinika Psychiatrii i Rehabilitacji Psychiatrycznej Katedry Psychiatrii UM w Lublinie
Uniwersytet SWPS, Wydział Zamiejscowy w Katowicach
Submission date: 2015-03-23
Final revision date: 2015-05-16
Acceptance date: 2015-05-21
Publication date: 2016-08-30
Corresponding author
Igor Pietkiewicz   

Szkoła Wyższa Psychologii Społecznej, Techników 9, 43-126 Katowice, Polska
Psychiatr Pol 2016;50(4):805-826
Having the opportunity to work has been found meaningful for individuals suffering from severe mental illness, in order to boost their self-esteem, provide a sense of control over their lives and of belonging to a community. There are no studies in Polish literature on the process of recovery from schizophrenia with reference to work activity. The objective of this research was to explore personal experiences of people employed in Vocational Development Centers.

Eight semi-structured interviews were conducted with adult patients. Their transcripts were subject to interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA).

Having the opportunity to work was significant for participants because it mobilized them and encouraged self-care. G oing to work helped them overcome social isolation by meeting people with similar difficulties and those who did not suffer from mental illness. Financial gratification enables a sense of independence and the ability to develop skills to plan and control their budget.

This study finds that patients who lost their jobs due to mental illness should be encouraged to utilize rehabilitation institutions to help them undertake work activity and use previously acquired qualifications or develop new skills. Access to appropriate psychological support should be provided during vocation reorientation and adaptation into new work environments. This helps patients regain a sense of control and purpose, and cope with losing valued social roles. We also highlight the need for further studies into challenges in the workplace and the strategies patients use to cope with them.

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