State Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Employment for Individuals with Cardiac and Other Types of Circulatory System Conditions
BACKGROUND: Obtaining and maintain employment can be a significant challenge for individuals with disabilities, including cardiac and other conditions of the circulatory system. Although federal vocational rehabilitation laws allow for each state to provide various services, it is not well understood which services make a difference in employment rates, or how receipt of cash and medical benefits affect the rate of employment as well. SUBJECTS: Data points regarding 4,475 state vocational rehabilitation consumers were extracted from an archival database controlled by US Department of Education containing demographic covariates, specific vocational rehabilitation services used, and final employment outcome. METHOD: A hierarchical logistic regression analysis was utilized using vocational rehabilitation services as predictors to predicting employment for consumers with a cardiac and/or circulatory system disability. RESULTS: A total of 2,616 out of 4,475 cardiac consumers (58.5%) were competitively employed after receiving vocational rehabilitation services. Logistic regression analysis results indicated that cash benefits (OR = 0.34; 95% CI: 0.3-0.4) were negatively associated with employment, whereas on-the-job supports (OR = 4.25; 95% CI: 3.51-5.16), diagnosis and treatment (OR = 1.69; 95% CI: 1.45-1.96), on-the-job training (OR = 1.91; 95% CI: 1.2-3.04), job placement assistance (OR = 1.7; 95% CI: 1.43-2.03), and maintenance (OR = 1.95; 95% CI: 1.58-2.39), and the other services category (OR = 1.3; 95% CI: 1.1-1.54) were significant predictors of positive employment outcomes. DISCUSSION: Vocational services offered by state vocational agencies have been found to positively benefit individuals with a cardiac or other circulatory condition disability by assisting with obtaining or maintaining employment.