BACKGROUND: It is possible that people with psychiatric disabilities who visit day centres have previous work experiences that may be seen as resources for their current engagement in day centre activities. Research in this respect seems to lack, however.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate work experiences among attendees at day centres for people with psychiatric disabilities and relationships with current type of day centre (work-oriented, meeting place-oriented or mixed), engagement in day centre activities, motivation and socio-demographic and health-related factors.
METHODS: Seventy-seven attendees responded to questionnaires. Global Assessment of Functioning, GAF, was also used. Work was categorised into Group I (professionals, semi-professionals), Group II (clerical support, services workers) and Group III (e.g. craft workers, elementary occupations).
RESULTS: Almost everyone had previously had open-market employment; more than half for ≥10 years. Group I was more common in mixed centres, Group II in meeting place-oriented ones and Group III in work-oriented ones. Group I more frequently had college degree and was rated high on GAF functioning. Women were over-represented in Group II, and men in Group III and in meeting place-oriented centres. Attending mixed centres was more likely when having a college degree, scoring high on GAF functioning and being highly engaged in activities. Attendees at work-oriented day centres were characterised by being motivated for spending time alone and reporting a diagnosis of psychosis.
CONCLUSIONS: The participants had unused working capacity. No clear-cut relationships were found between work experiences and the investigated correlates.
2016. Vol. 53, no 2, 377-385 p.