A systems analysis of the employment problems of people with epilepsy
The study investigated the relationships between epilepsy and employment. A comprehensive and critical literature review is presented, leading to the development of a biopsychosocial framework of medical, psychosocial and occupational factors. Relationships suggested by the literature were empirically tested in three samples of employed people with epilepsy in two major UK organisations. Methods included postal questionnaires, interviews and document analysis. Empirical evidence showed two types of outcome: employment problems and career problems. These outcomes were related to different aspects of the framework. Employment problems related to seizure control aspects and psychosocial factors outside work and career problems related to characteristics of the epilepsy itself and psychosocial factors inside work. A biopsychosocial model of epilepsy in the work-place was developed from the empirical work which identifies points of intervention and is discussed in relation to the law of requisite variety (Ashby, 1964). Conclusions and future research are identified in the area of management practice. Important aspects of this study are the development of a biopsychosocial model and the conceptualisation of epilepsy as a management resource issue.