Individuals with chronic diseases and mental disorders often experience work-related problems, such as unemployment, absenteeism, reduced productivity and stigmatization in the workplace, leading to negative consequences at individual, national and European levels. The rising prevalence of chronic diseases and mental disorders as well as the current economic crisis make this issue even more problematic and require actions in terms of innovative strategies to improve the participation of these persons in the labour market. However, this is hindered by a lack of knowledge of which strategies are available in the different European countries and their effectiveness, and a lack of clarity regarding the employment-related needs of these individuals, leading to gaps between what is offered and what is needed. To fill this lack of knowledge and clarity, and to bridge this gap between need and effective
strategies, a 2-year EU Horizon 2020 project called PATHWAYS was kicked off in May 2015.
PATHWAYS aims a) to identify integration and re-integration strategies that are available in Europe and beyond, b) to determine their effectiveness, c) to assess the specific employment-related needs of persons with chronic diseases and mental disorders and d) to develop guidelines supporting the implementation of effective professional integration and reintegration strategies. The framework of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) will guide the efforts to reach these aims.
Involvement of 12 partners (see below) with vast expertise in the area of chronic and mental conditions and employment from 10 different European countries allows to compare strategies between different European regions, taking into account cultural, social and political differences. Stakeholder consultations, including advocacy organizations, employers, policy makers, international organizations, and European Union delegates, will provide useful insights to the development and implementation of policy recommendations to improve their integration or reintegration into the workplace. In this way, PATHWAYS will provide the first steps to work towards a more inclusive labour market in which persons with chronic diseases and mental disorders can meaningfully participate.
Partners of the consortiums are:
- Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neuologico "Carlo Besta" (Milano, Italy) (Coordinator)
- Chair for Public Health and Health Services Research at the Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU) (Munich, Germany)
- Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Madrid, Spain)
- Parc Sanitar Sant Joan de Déu (Barcelona, Spain)
- Panepistimio Thessalias (Volos, Greece)
- University Rehabilitation Institute (Ljubljana, Slovenia)
- Vseobecna Fakultni Nemocnice (Prague, Czech Republic)
- Uniwersytet Jagiellonski (Krakau, Poland)
- Hogskolen i Oslo og Akershus (Oslo, Norway)
- European Association of Services Providers for Persons with Disabilities AISBL (Brussel, Belgium)
- Gaital-Klinik (Klagenfurt, Austria)
- Fachhochschule Kärnten (Spittal an der Drau, Austria)
For more information, please contact Dr. Carla Sabariego (Principal investigator) or Dr. Michaela Coenen .