198457 Comparison of health characteristics between working and non-working adults with physical disabilities: Implications for health promotion

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 9:24 AM

Gwyn C. Jones, PhD, MSW, MEd , National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Objective: Investigate differences in health characteristics among working and non-working adults with physical disabilities.

Methods: We combined data from the 2000-2007 National Health Interview Survey to investigate health-related differences between working and non-working adults age 18-64 years with a lower-extremity mobility limitation, hearing impairment or visual impairment. We examined measures of physical health, depressive symptoms, 6 chronic conditions and 4 health behaviors for each disability group, controlling for demographics in the logistic models.

Results: With the exceptions of mild depressive symptoms and alcohol use, non-working adults in all disability groups were significantly more likely (p<.01) to have poorer health, all chronic conditions, and to engage in adverse health behaviors. Compared with working adults, non-working visually impaired adults were most likely to report fair/poor health (50.1% v. 13.8%), to have diabetes (19.7% v. 7.8%), and to be smokers (35.1% v. 30.2%). Hearing impaired workers were the most likely to use alcohol (72.8% v. 52.0%). Non-working adults with mobility limitations were most likely to be physically inactive (54.3% v. 35.4%). After adjusting for demographics, the odds of having fair/poor health, chronic conditions and engaging in most adverse health behaviors decreased sharply for workers in each disability group.

Conclusions/Implications: Our findings showed strong differences in health status, depressive symptoms, chronic conditions and health behaviors between working and non-working adults for all physical disability groups. Health promotion efforts for non-working adults with disabilities to treat chronic diseases and improve health behavior practices may increase their ability to gain employment and remain in the workforce.

Learning Objectives:
1.Describe differences in health-related outcomes between working and non-working adults with physical disabilities. 2.Evaluate differences in health-related outcomes for working and non-working adults among different physical disabilities. 3.Understand the need for targeted health promotion for working-age adults with physical disabilities who are not currently in the workforce. 4.Identify potential health promotion strategies and interventions for non-working adults with disabilities.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Research, articles, previous presentations at APHA and elswhere.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.