Healing a vulnerable self: Exploring return to work for women with mental health problems

Tidsskriftartikel - 2013

Resume

Mental health problems (MHPs) such as stress and depression are among the leading causes of work disability. In this article we explore how women with MHPs experience sickness absence and subsequent return to work. We conducted 16 semistructured interviews and employed constructivist grounded theory for the analysis. We found that whereas sickness absence constituted a major threat to positive self-images, the experience had potential as a personal growth experience: Although some women felt handicapped, others became stronger and more self-confident. The core of the experience was not the return to work but a process of healing a vulnerable self-the ability both to refocus attention from symptoms to other life goals and to maintain or reconstruct a positive self-image. Supportive health care and acknowledgment from others facilitated the healing process.

Reference

Nielsen MBD, Rugulies RE, Hjortkjaer C, Bültmann U, Christensen U. Healing a vulnerable self: Exploring return to work for women with mental health problems. Qualitative Health Research 2013;23(3):302-312.
doi: 10.1177/1049732312468252

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