State-of-the-Science Re-Cap: Advancing Evidence-Based Practices and Policies to Close the Employment Gap

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RRTC-EBP VR State of the Science Presenters

RRTC-EBP VR State of the Science presenters, from left to right: John Lui, Michael Lehy, Fong Chan.

Members of the RRTC-EBP VR research team presented on April 8 & 9, 2014 in Bethesda, MD on the theme of “Advancing Evidence-Based Practices and Policies to Close the Employment Gap.”  Vocational rehabilitation professionals received information to improve employment rates and quality of employment outcomes within the state/federal vocational rehabilitation system. Presentations topics included:

  • VR Counselors’ Perception of EBP: Value, Barriers, and Preparation Needs Presenters: Michael Leahy (MSU), Fong Chan (UW-Madison) and John Lui (Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute)
  • Best Practices in Achieving Employment Outcomes: Findings from a Multiple Case Study of Agencies in the Public Rehabilitation Program Moderator: Michael Leahy (MSU)
  • Personal and Environmental Factors that Support and Encourage Innovation and Best Practices that Lead to Employment Outcomes in Public Rehabilitation. Moderator: Fong Chan and Tim Tansey (UW-Madison)

Please click on the links below to access presentation materials and conference handouts:

Presentations:

Handouts:

Please call 855-820-3929 or email research2vrpractice@gmail.com if you would like additional information.

Learn About the Labor Department

March 11, 2014  |  Featured, News, Practice, Resources  |  Share
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Learn about the Labor Department, break through the jargon and the acronyms and explore work.  Visit the Labor Department website at http://www.dol.gov/dolatoz/.

Join us at our State of the Science Conference

March 4, 2014  |  Conference, Featured, News  |  Share
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State of the Science Conference: Advancing Evidence-Based Practices and Policies to Close the Employment Gap

April 8 & 9, 2014 — Bethesda, MD We will provide vocational rehabilitation professionals with information and corresponding tools to improve employment rates and quality of employment outcomes within the state/federal vocational rehabilitation system. Presentation topics include:

  • VR Counselors Perception of EBP: Value, Barriers, and Preparation Needs Presenters: Michael Leahy (MSU), Fong Chan (U of WI-Madison) and John Lui (Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute)
  • Best Practices in Achieving Employment Outcomes: Findings from a Multiple Case Study of Agencies in the Public Rehabilitation Program Moderator: Michael Leahy (MSU)
  • Personal and Environmental Factors that Support and Encourage Innovation and Best Practices that Lead to Employment Outcomes in Public Rehabilitation. Moderators: Fong Chan and Tim Tansey (UW-Madison)
  • Click here for more information.

Click here to register. CRC Credits are available!

Please call 855-820-3929 or email research2vrpractice@gmail.com if you would like additional information.

Quality of Life as an Outcome Measure of Rehabilitation Service?

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To ensure continued funding vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies must provide documentation that they deliver effective services efficiently.  Although overall quality of life is an established goal of all VR services, short-term job placement has historically served as the primary measure of service outcomes. Despite its clear importance, job placement as an outcome measure provides little information about consumers and their needs in other life areas. Its limited focus can also obscure the benefits of rehabilitation services beyond vocational placement in treating the whole person.

The International Classification of Functioning (ICF) model is a comprehensive framework to conceptualize chronic illness and disability across the domains of body functions and structures, activity, and participation in society; it also accounts for the impact of personal and environmental factors on functioning. The ICF model is used to provide a picture of how an individual experiences disability and chronic illness across various life domains. Many researchers have advocated for the use of the ICF as a tool to systematically understand consumer’s rehabilitation needs, and to evaluate rehabilitation outcomes.

Results

This study addressed the utility of the ICF model to assess quality of life (QOL) among adults with disabilities receiving vocational and educational services. Results found that the ICF model provided greater predictive validity for QOL than the traditional outcome measure of job placement.

Interventions

Because research strongly supports the ICF model as a framework for assessing consumers’ quality of life, the following interventions are suggested:

  • To guide service plan development, use the ICF model to assess consumers’ functional skills, environmental supports, and opportunities for activity and participation in society at the beginning of service provision.  Beneficial services and areas of focus could include:
    •  Counseling and guidance
      – Social relationships or sources of support
      – Home and work environment
      – Community access
    • Vocational training/education
    • Durable medical equipment and rehabilitation technology
    • Supported employment
    • Transition services
  • Briefly assess consumers’ quality of life at both the beginning and end of service provision to evaluate the impact of service on the whole person.  This could be done with a simple question: “How would you rate the quality of your life?”

Bottom Line


Assessment of ICF domains and QOL before and after the provision of rehabilitation services can provide counselors with a more holistic picture of the individual.  This information can be used to better capture the benefits of rehabilitation services, and serve as a guide for counselors in providing more targeted needs.

Reade More


Source: Fleming, A. R., Fairweather, J. S., & Leahy, M. J. (2013). Quality of Life As a Potential Rehabilitation Service Outcome: The Relationship Between Employment, Quality of Life, and Other Life Areas. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 57(1), 9–22. doi:10.1177/0034355213485992


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Developing Communities of Practice

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Training Format:  Self-paced, online

Total Time:  7 Minutes

Overview:

This online training module offers an introduction and guide for developing communities of practice. In this training, you will get an overview of four steps to integrate evidenced-based practice into VR practice:

  1. The Key elements of a Community of Practice, or as what we will also refer to as a CoP
  2. How busy VR professionals can form and use a CoP to improve employment outcomes and quality of employment for people with disabilities, and
  3. Where to obtain Resources to learn more about CoPs

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Training Materials


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Meet our Awesome Research Team . . .

February 5, 2014  |  Featured, News  |  Share
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The RRTC research team met in Madison, WI in August of 2013 to discuss Phase II research findings. Pictured below from left to right are Roy Del Valle, Madan Kundu, John Lui, Tim Tansey, Susan Sherman, David Rosenthal, Fong Chan, Michael Leahy, and Cayte Anderson.

Research Team 1

If you have a question about or comment on the use of evidence-based practices in vocational rehabilitation, let us know.

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Integrating Research into VR Practice

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Training Format:  Self-paced, online

Total Time:  6 Minutes

Overview:

This online training module offers an introduction and guide for integrating research into your VR practice. In this training, you will get an overview of four steps to integrate evidenced-based practice into VR practice:

  1. Formulate well-defined, answerable questions
  2. Seek the best evidence available to answer your questions
  3. Critically evaluate the evidence
  4. Apply the evidence to your individual consumer

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RRTC-EBP-VR Phase II Executive Summary

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RRTC-EBP-VR Phase II Executive Summary

Click on the link above for a summary of a study that provides a comprehensive analysis of the policies, procedures, practices, and structural elements related to the provision of effective best practices that lead to successful employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.  The study sample involved four state VR agencies.

 


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Family and Teacher Support for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

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Ann Glang, PhD, principal investigator of the NIDRR-funded project “Development of a Web-Based Tool for Families Impacted by the Cognitive, Behavioral, and Social Challenges of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), is featured in several brainline.org videos that provide families and teachers with information to help them support children and adolescents with TBI.  Click on the link below to access valuable training videos.

Brainlinekids – helping kids with traumatic brain injury

Evidence-Based Programs: An Overview

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Learn what it means for a program to be evidence-based, examine the advantages and disadvantages of implementing EBPs, and find resources on disability-specific evidence-based programs that could apply to individual consumers.  This  research brief is #6 in the series “What Works, Wisconsin – Research to Practice Series” produced by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Wisconsin – Extension.

Evidence-Based Programs:  An Overview

Emphasizing the Positive: The Role of Attachment Style, Social Support, and Coping on Happiness in Persons with Spinal Cord Injuries

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Approximately 19%, or 56.7 million, of people in the United States have a disability that affects how they function in their daily activities.  These individuals’ attachment styles, approaches to coping, and levels and types of social support have been identified as indicators of how well they will positively adjust to disability.  The purpose of this research was to examine how these indicators correlate with happiness in a sample of individuals with spinal cord injuries, and whether these findings apply to the general population of people with disabilities.

Results

This research found that attachment styles, approaches to coping, and social supports correspond with happiness in people with disabilities. It suggests that rehabilitation counselors may be able to facilitate positive behavior changes and increase the subjective experience of happiness in consumers by providing interventions specific to these indicators.

Interventions

Attachment Styles  This study indicated that individuals with secure attachment styles who were comfortable with closeness and willing to depend on others were happier than those with insecure attachment styles.  Because research suggests that attachment styles can change, the following interventions are recommended:

  • Focus on increasing consumers’ self-esteem and disability acceptance to increase their internal feelings of worth.
  • Model healthy attachments and form a strong working alliance with consumers to instill a sense of worthiness.
  • Provide social skills training to enable individuals to feel more secure when interacting with others, forming friendships, and building a support system.
  • Assist individuals in recognizing how past experiences with caregivers have shaped their coping style and how that style may now add to their distress.
  • Help consumers understand how ineffective coping patterns, such as perfectionism as an attempt to meet the need to be loved and accepted, can add to unhappiness.  Instead, try to find alternate ways to meet psychological needs.

Social Support This study suggested that individuals with spinal cord injuries who had higher levels of social support, specifically from friends, were happier. The support must encourage a sense of competence and skill, rather than passivity, in the receiver to increase feelings of worth. The following interventions have been shown to increase levels of social support:

  • Provide social skill training, including:
    - Informal training from mentors and peers
    - Focused training on how to make active and clear requests for help from persons serving as natural supports
  • Model effective social interaction
  • Provide guidance and support
  • Use intentional friendships (for example, with community volunteers) as social support
  • Use natural supports in the workplace

Approaches to Coping  Problem-focused coping strategies which actively focus on the problem-at-hand and in finding and using solutions were found to increase levels of happiness in persons with disabilities. These interventions were found to improve individuals’ ability to cope with chronic illness and disability:

  • Provide coping effectiveness and problem-solving skills training
  • Help clients change negative self-appraisals of the implications of disability
  • Decatastrophize the disability experience
  • Connect with clients at an earlier stage in the adjustment process
  • Challenge negative stereotypes about the disability experience
  • Help develop alternative goals or alternative pathways to achieve pre-disability goals

Bottom Line

People with spinal cord injuries who were securely engaged with others, more satisfied with their social relationships, and coped more directly with their disability-related stress were more likely to experience a higher level of happiness.  Positive psychology interventions related to attachment styles, coping approaches, and levels of social support can positively affect the subjective sense of happiness in people with chronic illness and disability.


Read More

Source: Wilson, L., Catalano, D., Sung, C., Phillips, B., Chou, C., Chan, J., Chan, F. (2013). Attachment style, social support, and coping as psychosocial correlates of happiness in persons with spinal cord injuries. Rehabilitation Research, Policy, and Education, 27(3), 187-205.


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Measuring Adaptation to Disability: Validation of the Brief Adaptation to Disability Scale – Revised

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Research suggests that individuals with higher levels of disability acceptance experience higher levels of functional independence and life satisfaction.  Disability acceptance is an indication of readiness to pursue appropriate social and career goals, gain new skills, integrate disability into self-identity, and restore positive self-worth.  This study was conducted to validate the use of the B-ADS-R to measure disability acceptance in a sample of Taiwanese with spinal cord injuries (SCI).

Results

The B-ADS-R was found to be a brief, reliable, and accurate tool to measure disability acceptance for people with SCI in Taiwan.  In addition, this study suggests value in using targeted interventions to strengthen the positive human traits of cause and effect, character strengths, perceived control, resilience, and hope to promote increased community participation and a sense of well-being for rehabilitation clients.

Interventions

Cause and Effect Assist consumers in gradually developing their belief that their actions effect outcomes:

  • Give simple assignments that have a high probably of success to break negative self-fulfilling prophecies
  • Support self-efficacy

Character Strengths Assist consumers to foster their personal excellence or growth:

  • Facilitate consumers’ practice of virtues and character strengths (e.g., open-mindedness, love of learning, persistence, humor).

Perceived Control Increase consumers’ sense of perceived control by drawing from the theory of intentional counseling:

  • Focus on reframing clients’ perceptions of their sense of control in their lives by encouraging them to view themselves as narrators of their life scripts.
  • Encourage storytelling, while avoiding focus on negative past experiences, to promote a sense of empowerment over adversity.

Resilience Enhance resilience in consumers by helping them develop:

  • Coping skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Social skills

Hope Facilitate hope by reformatting and redefining goals:

  • Select optimal rehabilitation goals
  • Establish an ideal level of challenge
  • Endorse approach rather than avoidance goals
  • Break down long-range goals into steps and sub-goals
    - Use simple goal worksheets
  • Encourage consideration of alternative pathways to goals
  • Mentally rehearse scripts for occasions when obstacles are encountered
  • Create visual scenarios of pathways to goals
  • Increase positive self-talk

Bottom Line

Targeted interventions that focus on strengthening the positive human traits of cause and effect, character strengths, perceived control, resilience, and hope could significantly impact the level of community participation and sense of well-being in people with disabilities and lead to increased disability acceptance.


Read More

Source: Chan, J. Chan, F., Ditchman, N., Phillips, B., and Chou, C. (2013). Evaluating Snyder’s hope theory as a motivational model of participation and life satisfaction for individuals with spinal cord injury: A path analysis. Rehabilitation Research, Policy, and Education, 27(3), 187-205.


Learn More

Smedema, M.S., Pfaller, J., Moser, E., Tur, W., & Chan, F. (2013). Measurement structure of the trait hope scale in persons with spinal cord injury: A confirmatory factor analysis. Rehabilitation Research, Policy, and Education, 27(3), 206-212.

Chou, C., Chan, F., Phillips, B., Ditchman, N., & Kaseroff, A. (2013). Positive psychology theory, research, and practice: A primer for rehabilitation counseling professionals. Rehabilitation Research, Policy, and Education, 27, (3), 126-130.

Values In Action Survey of Character https://www.viame.org/survey/Account/Register


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Measuring Resilience: Use of the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale for People With Spinal Cord Injuries

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Resilience, in its simplest terms, results in people “bouncing back” from adversity and getting on with their lives. To infer resilience, two major steps must occur: (a) exposure to significant adversity (e.g., car accident), and (b) a positive developmental outcome afterwards (e.g., substantial psychosocial adjustment). The construct of resilience has recently been explored among individuals with spinal cord injuries (SCIs). Resilience has also been found to be inversely associated with depression and positively correlated with life satisfaction. In this study, the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC) was assessed for psychometric validity among individuals with SCIs to provide rehabilitation counseling practitioners with a valid measure of resilience among people with chronic illness and disability.

Results

This study provides evidence to support the use of the CD-RISC for individuals with SCIs. The result indicated that the construct of resilience in the CD-RISC has five contributing sub-factors:

  1. personal competence, high standards, and tenacity
  2. trust in one’s instincts, tolerance of negative affect, and strengthening effects of stress
  3. positive acceptance of change and secure relationships
  4. control
  5. spiritual influence

These five factors correlated positively with disability acceptance and happiness, and inversely related to depression.

Bottom Line

This tool can be used:

  • As part of an admission screening battery in state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency settings in conjunction with other psychosocial and vocational assessments.
  • To assess client strengths and positive traits for VR counselors to formulate a well-balanced perspective of persons with disabilities in employment planning and intervention.

Read More

Source: Fujikawa, M., Lee, E. J., Chan, F., Catalano, D., Hunter, C., Bengtson, K, & Rahimi, M. (2013). The Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale as a positive psychology measure for people with spinal cord injuries. Rehabilitation Research, Policy, and Education, 27(3), 206-212.


Learn More

Read the following articles to learn more about this topic:

  • Catalano, D., Chan, F., Wilson, L., Chiu, C., & Muller, V. R. (2011). The buffering effect  of resilience on depression among individuals with spinal cord injury: A structural equation model. Rehabilitation Psychology, 56(3), 200–211. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0024571
  • Connor, K. M., & Davidson, J. T. (2003). Development of a new resilience scale: The Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC). Depression and Anxiety, 18(2), 76–82. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/da.10113
  • Kumpfer, K. L. (1999). Factors and processes contributing to resilience: The resilience framework. In M. D. Glantz & J. L. Johnson (Eds.), Resilience and development: Positive life adaptations (pp. 179–224). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

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Targeted Interventions to Facilitate Increased Community Participation and Life Satisfaction in Consumers

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Evidence from the past two decades suggests hope can act as a personal asset, particularly for people with disabilities, and result in increased community participation and life satisfaction.  As proposed by Snyder’s theory, hope is open to change and can be taught.  The purpose of this research was to evaluate Snyder’s hope theory as a motivational model of participation and life satisfaction for individuals with disabilities.

Results

Snyder’s hope theory as a motivational model of participation and life satisfaction was validated with minor modifications.    The results of this study suggest:

  • Individuals who believe in cause and effect, i.e., that actions affect outcomes, have a greater belief in their ability to execute an action plan to achieve desired goals and increased levels of community participation.
  • Individuals who have perceived control, i.e., the belief that they can formulate an action plan to achieve a desired goal, tend to perceive themselves as having a higher capacity for executing goal-related actions and have higher levels of active participation in the community.
  • Resilience, i.e., the ability to “bounce back,” appears to facilitate hope and directly impacts individuals’ ability to formulate and execute an action plan to achieve desired goals.
  • Hope, defined as a belief in one’s ability to achieve personal goals and motivation to take action to pursue those goals, has a direct effect on individuals’ levels of community participation and directly impacts life satisfaction.

Interventions

To promote increased community participation and a sense of well-being for rehabilitation clients, this study suggests value in using targeted interventions to strengthen the positive human traits of cause and effect, perceived control, resilience, and hope.

Cause and Effect To assist consumers in gradually developing their belief that their actions effect outcomes, rehabilitation counselors should:

  • Give simple assignments that have a high probably of success to break negative self-fulfilling prophecies
  • Teach cognitive-behavioral skills
  • Support self-efficacy
  • Model cause and effect behaviors

Perceived Control To increase the sense of perceived control, counselors can draw from the theory of intentional counseling and:

  • Focus on reframing clients’ perceptions of their sense of control in their lives by encouraging them to view themselves as narrators of their life scripts.
  • Encourage storytelling, while avoiding focus on negative past experiences, to promote a sense of empowerment over adversity.

Resilience Enhance resilience in consumers by helping them develop:

  • Coping skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Social skills

Hope Facilitate hope by reformatting and redefining goals:

  • Select optimal rehabilitation goals
  • Establish an ideal level of challenge
  • Endorse approach rather than avoidance goals
  • Break down long-range goals into steps and sub-goals * Use simple goal worksheets
  • Encourage consideration of alternative pathways to goals
  • Mentally rehearse scripts for occasions when obstacles are encountered
  • Create visual scenarios of pathways to goals
  • Increase positive self-talk

Bottom Line

Targeted interventions that focus on strengthening the positive human traits of cause and effect, perceived control, resilience, and hope could significantly impact the level of community participation and sense of well-being in people with disabilities.


Read More

Source: Chan, J. Chan, F., Ditchman, N., Phillips, B., and Chou, C. (2013). Evaluating Snyder’s hope theory as a motivational model of participation and life satisfaction for individuals with spinal cord injury: A path analysis. Rehabilitation Research, Policy, and Education, 27 (3), 187-205.


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Measuring Hope: Use of the Trait Hope Scale for People with Disabilities

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Snyder’s Hope Theory states that hope results from a combination of believing there is a way to achieve personal goals and being motivated to take action to pursue those goals.   Hope contributes to positive psychosocial adjustment outcomes, including academic achievement and physical and mental health, in people with chronic illness and disability.  It also results in greater life satisfaction, self-esteem, and proactive coping among individuals with spinal cord injuries.  This recent study was done to validate the Trait Hope Scale among a sample of individuals with spinal cord injury and provide a valid way to measure hope for people with chronic illness and disability.

Results

This study shows a connection between individuals’ belief in their ability to achieve personal goals and motivation to take action to pursue those goals, and their level of self-esteem, self-efficacy, disability acceptance, and life satisfaction.  It supports the use of the Hope Trait Scale for individuals living with spinal cord injury.

Interventions

The following interventions are suggested:

  • Incorporate hope, defined as a belief in one’s ability to achieve personal goals and motivation to take action to pursue those goals, into:
    * Rehabilitation case conceptualization
    * Treatment planning
    * Clinical rehabilitation practice
  • Assist individuals in cognitively developing ways to accomplish their goals

Bottom Line

The use of Snyder’s hope theory results in positive psychosocial outcomes for individuals with disabilities.  The Trait Hope Scale is a valid measure of hope for people living with spinal cord injuries.


Read More

Source: Smedema, M.S., Pfaller, J., Moser, E., Tur, W., & Chan, F. (2013). Measurement structure of the trait hope scale in persons with spinal cord injury: A confirmatory factor analysis. Rehabilitation Research, Policy, and Education, 27(3), 206-212.


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Positive Psychology Theory, Research, and Practice: A Primer for Rehabilitation Counseling Professionals

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Abstract

Positive psychology is a scientific study that explores what makes life most worth living and applies psychological theory to understand the human strengths that are important for enhancing overall well-being and happiness. The rehabilitation counseling philosophy shares a similar emphasis on personal strengths and the importance of enhancing what is good rather than merely addressing the negative aspects of adversity. The field of rehabilitation counseling provides a solid foundation for the practice of positive psychology and there is great potential for improving services and outcomes for people with disabilities by applying positive psychology approaches in rehabilitation practice and research. The objective of this article is to provide rehabilitation professionals an overview of positive psychology and its application to rehabilitation counseling. Specifically, a brief history of the positive psychology movement, major constructs and research findings, measurement onsiderations, and empirically supported intervention frameworks will be reviewed.


Read More

Source: Chou, C., Chan, F., Phillips, B., Ditchman, N., & Kaseroff, A. (2013). Positive psychology theory, research, and practice: A primer for rehabilitation counseling professionals. Rehabilitation Research, Policy, and Education, 27, (3), 126-130.


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Introduction to Positive Psychology in Rehabilitation

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Abstract

Positive psychology has received increasing attention in rehabilitation counseling research and practice. The rehabilitation counseling philosophy shares a similar emphasis of personal assets and strengths, which provides a solid foundation for the integration of positive psychology into the professional practice of rehabilitation counseling. In this article, the guest editors present their rationale for developing this special issue on positive psychology and rehabilitation research. They highlight some of the exciting findings reported in the articles included in this special issue on positive psychology and rehabilitation research. The goal of this special issue is to stimulate thinking and discussion about applying positive psychology theory, research, assessment, and interventions in rehabilitation counseling for promoting overall well-being, quality of life, and happiness for people with chronic illness and disabilities.


Read More

Source: Chou, C., Chan, F., Phillips, B., Chan, J.Y.C. (2013). Introduction to positive psychology in rehabilitation. Rehabilitation Research, Policy, and Education, 27, (3), 131-153.


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RRTC Phase II Research Team Meeting

July 22, 2013  |  Featured, News  |  Share
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Madison, WI June 5-7, 2013

The RRTC research team met in Madison, WI to finalize cross-analysis of the multiple state VR case studies involved in Phase II of the RRTC’s research. The team will produce a report on models of effective practice, policy and procedures among state VR agencies that result in the effective delivery of services, and specific promising practices that have the potential to become evidence-based and transportable to other state VR agencies. This report will be based on data collected from four state programs selected for case study (Texas, Utah, Mississippi, and Maryland). Individual chapters in the report will highlight specific features and findings for each of the four state programs.

RRTC Phase II Research Team Left to Right: (front) Madan Kundu, Susan Sherman, Fong Chan; (back) Roy Del Valle, John Lui, Tim Tansey, David Rosenthal, Mike Leahy, Cayte Anderson

RRTC Phase II Research Team
Left to Right: (front) Madan Kundu, Susan Sherman, Fong Chan; (back) Roy Del Valle, John Lui, Tim Tansey, David Rosenthal, Mike Leahy, Cayte Anderson

RRTC Phase II Research Team Hard at Work with Interpreter. From left to right: David Rosenthal, Cayte Anderson, John Lui, Roy Del Valle, Tim Tansey, Fong Chan, Susan Sherman, Madan Kundu, Interpreter, Mike Leahy

RRTC Phase II Research Team Hard at Work with Interpreter. From left to right: David Rosenthal, Cayte Anderson, John Lui, Roy Del Valle, Tim Tansey, Fong Chan, Susan Sherman, Madan Kundu, Interpreter, Mike Leahy

RRTC Phase II Research Team at Work around a Table.  From left to right: Tim Tansey, Susan Sherman, Madan Kundu, Mike Leahy, David Rosenthal, Cayte Anderson, John Lui, Roy Del Valle

RRTC Phase II Research Team at Work around a Table. From left to right: Tim Tansey, Susan Sherman, Madan Kundu, Mike Leahy, David Rosenthal, Cayte Anderson, John Lui, Roy Del Valle

RRTC Phase II Research Team Working around a Table. From left to right: David Rosenthal, Cayte Anderson, John Lui, Tim Tansey, Fong Chan, Susan Sherman, Madan Kundu, Mike Leahy

RRTC Phase II Research Team Working around a Table. From left to right: David Rosenthal, Cayte Anderson, John Lui, Tim Tansey, Fong Chan, Susan Sherman, Madan Kundu, Mike Leahy

Identifying Vocational Rehabilitation Service Patterns and Employment Outcomes for Hispanics with Spinal Cord Injury

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Demographics in the United States are changing rapidly; it’s estimated that minorities may constitute up to 45% of the country’s total population by 2050.  Research suggests that ethnic minorities may potentially be more vulnerable to acquiring spinal cord injuries (SCI) than European-Americans. In addition, research shows that employment has a significant impact on improving the quality of life of individuals with SCI.

Supports

This study identified the following services as significant in improving successful employment outcomes for both Hispanic and European American with spinal cord injuries (SCI) who received vocational rehabilitation (VR) services from state agencies:

  • On-the-Job Training and Support
  • Job Search and Placement Assistance
  • Maintenance Services
  • Assistive Technology Services
  • Other Services (e.g., occupational licenses, tools and equipment, initial stock and supplies, and medical care)

Risk Factors

Also identified were the following risk factors that significantly lowered the odds of successful employment outcomes:

  • Work Disincentives
  • Personal Attendant Services
  • Miscellaneous Training Services

Important Note:
Co-occurring depression and AODA were significantly under-diagnosed for both European Americans and Hispanics by counselors in state VR agencies.  To address this, VR counselors should work closely with SCI rehabilitation professionals to better evaluate and treat co-occurring depression and AODA problems, and VR administrators should consider providing counselors with relevant training in these areas.

Bottom Line

This study found only minor disparities in services between European-Americans and Hispanics, and found no major disparities in employment outcomes.  It identified specific services provided by state VR agencies that significantly improve successful employment outcomes for individuals with SCI, and also identified factors that significant lower the odds of successful employment outcomes for individuals with SCI.


Read More

Source: Arango-Lasprilla, J., Cardoso, E., Wilson, L. M., Romero, M., Chan, F., & Sung, C. (2011). Vocational rehabilitation service patterns and employment outcomes for Hispanics with spinal cord injuries. Rehabilitation Research, Policy, and Education, 25(4), 149-162.


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Effective VR Services for Disability Groups at Increased Risk for Low Employment

November 6, 2012  |  Featured, Findings, News, Research Findings  |  Share
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Recent research suggests that counselors, employers, and the general public’s perception of types of disabilities leads to higher rates of stigma. This places specific disability groups at increased risk for low employment.

Results

This study revealed that the most significant predictor of employment outcome for those receiving vocational rehabilitation (VR) services within the U.S. state-federal system was disability type (physical vs. mental), and that the most significant factor for those with mental disabilities was specific type of disability. This is consistent with research suggesting that low employment outcomes are linked to levels of stigmatization of disability groups.

Supports

Specific services provided through the U.S. state-federal VR system were found to be statistically significant in increasing the likelihood that those with the most highly stigmatized disabilities would obtain competitive employment. These services are:

  • Job Placement Assistance
    Referral to a specific job that results in an interview
  • Substantial Counseling and Guidance
    Individually distinct from general counseling and including personal adjustment counseling; medical, family, or social issues counseling, vocational counseling; and other counseling as required
  • College or University Training
    Academic training above the high school level that leads to a degree
  • Occupational/Vocational Training
    Occupational, vocational, or job skill training in a recognized occupation with no academic certification or degree obtained

Bottom Line

Increasing personal awareness of stigmatizing attitudes and what VR services work best for unique consumers could increase employment outcomes for those in groups at high risk for low employment.


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Source:
Chan, J.Y.C., Keegan, J., Ditchman, N., Gonzalez, R., Zheng, L. X., & Chan, F. (2011). Stigmatizing attribution and vocational rehabilitation outcomes of people with disabilities. Rehabilitation Research, Policy, and Education, 25(4), 135-148.

 


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Source: Chan, J.Y.C., Keegan, J., Ditchman, N., Gonzalez, R., Zheng, L. X., & Chan, F. (2011). Stigmatizing attribution and vocational rehabilitation outcomes of people with disabilities. Rehabilitation Research, Policy, and Education, 25(4), 135-148.

Objective: To determine whether employment outcomes of people with disabilities can be predicted by the social-cognitive/attribution theory of stigmatization.

Design: Ex post facto design using data mining technique and logistic regression analysis.  Participants: Data from 40,585 vocational rehabilitation (VR) consumers were extracted from the Rehabilitation Services Administration Case Services Report (Form 911).

Results: In Study 1, data mining results revealed that the most significant predictor of employment outcome was type of disability.  Consistent with the social-cognitive/attribution theory of stigmatization, the employment rate of people with physical disabilities (68.5%) was found to be significantly higher than that of people with mental disabilities (56.6%).  In Study 2, results from logistic regression analyses indicated that VR services could improve outcomes for subpopulations of people with disabilities with low employment rates.

Conclusion: Employment outcomes of VR consumers were found to match the hierarchy of attitudes toward disability predicted by the social-cognitive/attribution theory.  However, even with subpopulations with the lowest employment rates, VR services were found to improve employment outcomes.


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Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors Speak: Preliminary Findings

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The RRTC-EBP-VR recently completed a study to learn what vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselors need to enable them to better implement evidence-based practices into their rehabilitation plans when working within the state-federal VR program. The title of the survey is “Engaging Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors in Knowledge Translation (KT) Processes: A Participatory Action Approach.”

The survey was sent to VR Counselors nationally in cooperation with CSAVR (Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation). 938 persons responded: 87% of these indicated a working title of “Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor,” the remaining 13% identified themselves as having job titles that included District and Area Managers, Supervisors, Specialists, and Case Coordinators.

We are using this information to drive research and develop training materials needed by VR counselors.  Click on the question below to find out what VR Counselors are saying:

In what areas related to EBP in Vocational Rehabilitation do you believe you would benefit from receiving more information and training?

In which areas do you believe training in EBP could help you perform you job differently?

What challenges do you face when using online resources?

How can information provided through the RRTC-EBP-VR be of value?

Do you have comments or questions about this survey?  If so, contact us using the form below, or call us at 855-820-3929

Request for Information

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Evidence-Based Practices in Vocational Rehabilitation: a Journey

September 26, 2012  |  Featured, News, RRTC Materials  |  Share
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Check out this promotional video produced by the RRTC-EBP-VR.  Feel free to use and share this!

Evidence-Based Practices in Vocational Rehabilitation: a Journey

Join us to learn how Communities of Practice can help you bridge the gap between research and your practice

March 7, 2014  |  Featured, News, Practice, Resources  |  Share
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Communities of Practice: Translating Knowledge for Rehabilitation Professionals

14th Annual National Rehabilitation Educators Conference National Council on Rehabilitation Education (NCRE) March 12-14, 2014  — Manhattan Beach, CA This interactive session will present recent research on the use of Communities of Practice (CoP) as a knowledge translation (KT) tool and provide a brief overview of the role CoP plays in bridging the gap between research and practice. We will explore how CoPs can serve both as a platform for consumers, educators, researchers, counselors, and employers to develop and implement evidence-based practices and as a way to measure the “success” of KT strategies.  Click here to register for this conference.

Levels of Evidence-Based Practice

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Training Format:  Self-paced, online

Total Time:  6 Minutes

Overview:

This online training module provides an overview of the Levels of Evidence Based Practice (EBP) Related to VR Service Delivery.

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Training Materials


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How VR Services Affect Employment Outcomes for Adults with Cerebral Palsy (CP)

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Cerebral Palsy (CP) is considered the most common childhood disability.  It can result in life-long speech and language impairments, sensory deficits, intellectual disabilities, behavioral problems, and seizures. Rates of employment for people with CP in the United States are reported to be lower than for those with other types of disabilities. The purpose of this research was to learn how VR services affected employment outcomes among adults with CP.

Interventions

Five VR services were shown to play a central role in the employment success of people with CP:

  • Job Placement Assistance
  • On-the-Job Training
  • On-the-Job Support – Specifically, work and social skill development tailored specifically to the environment, workplace accommodations, and employee education about disability and consumer advocacy
  • Maintenance – For example, food, clothing, shelter, and emergency healthcare
  • Rehabilitation Technology – For example, adaptive tricycle (for therapeutic cycling), adapted vehicles, augmentative communication devices

Other Factors that Affected Employment Outcomes:

Individuals’ gender, age, educational level, and receipt of cash benefits (SSDI/SSI) while receiving VR services also influenced their employment outcomes:

  • Gender.  Males were more likely to experience positive employment outcomes than females.  This may be a reflection of broader gender discrimination in employment in society as a whole.
  • Age. Individuals between the ages of 26-54 when they applied for services were more likely to be employed than other age groups.  The delayed employment age may be caused by the need for prolonged education and vocational training experienced by people with CP.
  • Education Level.  Individuals with a college education when they applied for service were more likely to gain employment after receiving VR services.  Education beyond high school has been shown to be the most significant predictor of positive employment outcomes of adults with CP.
    • Transition services in high school could be key to positive employment outcomes.
  • Cash benefits (SSDI/SSI).  Individuals who received cash benefits such as SSI and SSDI had reduced employment outcomes. Lack of information about work incentives programs, fear of losing benefits, or severity of disability may account for this.

Bottom Line

VR services can positively impact the employment rates and quality of employment for adults with CP, especially when coordinated with services from special educators and health professionals.


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Source: Huang, IC., Holzbauer, J. J., Lee, EJ., Chronister, J., Chan, Fl., O’Neil, J. (2013). Vocational rehabilitation services and employment outcomes for adults with cerebral palsy in the United States. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 55(11), 1000–1008. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.12224.


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