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Title: Unemployment in spinal cord injury : understanding the lived experiences of unemployed individuals with spinal cord injury and those who provide spinal cord injury vocational support in the community
Author: Turkistani, Wafa Ahmad
ISNI:       0000 0004 7967 893X
Awarding Body: Birkbeck, University of London
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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Unemployment resulting from spinal cord injury (SCI) is significant for those who experience job loss. A predominantly quantitative approach has typically focused on factors related to return to work (RTW) from the perspective of individuals living with SCI. This thesis sought to add to the qualitative research on the topic by providing contextual and subjective accounts of concrete experience on SCI unemployment. Moreover, it is important to understand the meaning of employment and/or lack of employment following SCI through the experiences of those providing vocational support to SCI sufferers. The literature on this topic has mainly been explored from the perspective of service providers to reflect on issues related to SCI people and their rehabilitation rather than issues related to the service providers themselves. Hence, this thesis also sought to focus on the experience of SCI vocational support providers in order to understand how they perceived their role. To achieve the above aims, this thesis comprised two separate studies, where data were collected through semi-structured interviews and analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). The first study explored the experience of nine men with SCI who became unemployed following their injuries. The findings of the first study demonstrated the mixed feelings of being nostalgic for pre-injury work and at the same time perceiving the self as a victim of SCI for losing work. The second study explored the experience of five supporters who provided SCI vocational services in the community. Findings demonstrated how those vocational support providers perceived their SCI clients as unique individuals, and how broad the ultimate goals they wanted to achieve with them were. The findings of the two studies are linked to each other in terms of the importance of support, empathy and customised care after SCI as well as setting comprehensive vocational goals. The two studies are linked to the existing literature through highlighting a particular contribution from an experiential and idiographic perspective. They also suggest different interesting avenues to pursue for future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available