Employment in schizophrenia –students’ point of view
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Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder and has a huge economic burden related to direct and indirect costs. Direct costs include such expenditure as hospitalization. Indirect costs, however, result mostly from the loss of productivity. Although patients are frequently interested in job opportunities, unemployment is widespread among them. Thus, we evaluated opinions of medical universities students’ concerning situation on the labor market among those in the remission stage of schizophrenia. The study was carried out between October 2015 and October 2016 in Poland and other European Union countries using a self designed questionnaire. The study tool consisting of five questions was distributed to students by direct contact and via the Internet. Of a 5200 distributed sheets, we received 1036 questionnaires and 942 were finally analyzed. In the students’ opinion, patients are generally interested in finding a job but they are afraid coming back to work. Although unemployment is common among patients with schizophrenia, the number of patients capable of working is significantly higher than the number of those actually employed. According to results of the study, getting a job might be effectively supported by non-pharmacological interventions. Considering the noticeably higher number of patients capable of working compared to those employed, development of employment possibilities should be a priority for mental health care decision makers. It should lead to reduction of the patients’ concerns related to looking for a job. Moreover, comprehensive treatment could reduce the economic burden of schizophrenia.
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