Nursing Publications


Optimizing Environments for Consumer Participation and Self-Direction in Finding Employment

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Publication Date

Spring 2007


OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health





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Health and rehabilitation providers are adopting empowering approaches to increase consumer involvement in the service process. This practice trend has evolved in response to the emergence and adoption of consumer-driven models in health care. However, the processes of enabling opportunities for consumers to participate as partners in rehabilitation are difficult and complex. The purpose of this study was to develop a theoretical understanding of the strategies, actions, and interactions between consumers and providers that supported consumer involvement in vocational rehabilitation processes. Data from a grounded theory study involving in-depth interviews with a sample of seven consumers and seven providers were analyzed using the constant comparative approach and Glaser’s analysis criteria. A conceptual model of how consumer participation is enacted emerged. Consumer and provider interactions focused on optimizing environments to support consumer partnering and self-direction through establishing shared expectations, advancing consumer potential in practice, and persistently pursuing goals in the community. Opportunities to enhance consumer participation in the social context, practice settings, and the community are elaborated.