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Employers’ attitudes to employment of people with epilepsy: still the same old story?

Jacoby, Ann; Gorry, Joanne and Baker, Gus A. (2005) Employers’ attitudes to employment of people with epilepsy: still the same old story? Epilepsia, 46 (12). pp. 1978-1987. ISSN 1528-1167 (Online); 0013-9580 (Print)

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Purpose: One area of life quality known to be compromised by having epilepsy is employment; and one factor contributing to the employment problems of people with epilepsy (PWE) is employer attitudes. Much research on this topic is now outdated and given the changing legal, medical and social contexts in which PWE live, we therefore re-examined employer attitudes in the UK. Method: A mail survey of a random sample of UK companies selected to be representative of the 14 UK economic regions and proportional to the number of employees. Findings: The overall response rate was 41% (n=204). Twenty-six percent of respondents reported having experience of employing PWE. Sixteen percent considered that there were no jobs in their company suitable for PWE; 21% thought employing PWE would be ‘a major issue’. Employers were uniformly of the view that PWE, even when in remission, should disclose their condition to a prospective employer. Seizure severity, frequency and controllability were all considered important features of epilepsy in the context of employment. Epilepsy created high concern to around half of employers, including the likelihood of it being linked to a work-related accident. Employers were willing to make accommodations for PWE, in particular job sharing, temporary re-assignment of duties and flexible working hours. Attitudes to employment of PWE were influenced by company size and type and previous experience of doing so. Conclusions: We conclude that it is still the same old story for employers’ attitudes toward people with epilepsy, though happily for people with epilepsy, with some room for optimism.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Issue: December 2005. Ann Jacoby, Joanne Gorry, Gus A. Baker, 'Employers' Attitudes to Employment of People with Epilepsy: Still the Same Old Story?' Epilepsia, 46, (12), 1978-1987, 2005, 1528-1167, 0013-9580, Division of Public Health, University of Liverpool, Liverpool; Department of Clinical Psychology, Rathbone Hospital, Merseyside; Division of Neurosciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, U.K. DOI: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2005.00345.x
Uncontrolled Keywords:epilepsy; employment; attitudes; stigma; discrimination; PUBLIC-ATTITUDES; WORK; UK; PERSPECTIVE; DISABILITY; STIGMA; IMPACT
Subjects:R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments, Research Centres and Related Units:Academic Faculties, Institutes and Research Centres > Faculty of Medicine > School of Clinical Sciences
Academic Faculties, Institutes and Research Centres > Faculty of Medicine > School of Population, Community & Behavioural Sciences
Publisher's Statement:The definitive version is available at 'Epilepsia: the Journal of the International League Against Epilepsy'. Blackwell Publishing, Inc. © 2005 International League Against Epilepsy.
ID Code:276
Deposited On:15 Aug 2008 10:30
Last Modified:30 Apr 2012 09:06

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