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A scoping review exploring vocational rehabilitation interventions for mental health service users with chronic mental illness in low-income to upper-middle-income countries

Citation

Chimara, Munyaradzi; van Niekerk, Lana; van Biljon, Hester Maria (2022), A scoping review exploring vocational rehabilitation interventions for mental health service users with chronic mental illness in low-income to upper-middle-income countries, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.0p2ngf23t

Abstract

Objective

To synthesize research published on vocational rehabilitation (VR) interventions offered in institutions, by occupational therapists, to mental health service users (MHSUs) with chronic mental illness, in low-income to upper middle-income countries (L-UMIC).

Design

This scoping review used Arksey and O’Malley’s methodological framework, the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) and Joanna Briggs scoping review guidelines.

Data Sources

We searched PsycInfo, EBSCOhost, HINARI, Google scholar, Medline, CINAHL, PubMed, Cochrane Library, Scopus, Science Direct and Wiley online library between 15 July and 31 August 2021.

Eligibility Criteria

Sources, published in English between 2011 and 2021, on institution-based VR in occupational therapy for MHSUs who had chronic mental illness in L-UMIC were included. We included primary studies of any design.

Data extraction and synthesis

Three reviewers used Mendeley to manage identified references, Rayyan for abstract and full text screening, and Microsoft Excel for data extraction. Data was sifted and sorted by key categories and themes.

Results

895 sources were identified, and their title and abstracts reviewed. 207 sources were included for full text screening. 12 articles from 4 countries (South Africa, India, Brazil & Kenya) were finally included. Types of VR intervention included supported employment, case management and prevocational skills training. Client centeredness, support and empowerment were the key VR principles identified. Teaching of illness self-management, job analysis and matching, job coaching, trial placement, and vocational guidance and counseling, were the main intervention strategies reported.

Conclusions

VR intervention in institutions for MHSUs in L-UMIC revealed the multidimensional uniqueness of individual MHSU’s vocational ability, needs and contexts. The interventions allowed client-centered approaches that offer support, and empowerment beyond the boundaries of the institutions. Occupational therapists offering VR need to expand their interventions beyond their institutions to contexts where MHSUs are working or intending to work.