Unemployment among Canadians with physical and a comorbid mental disability: An examination of the 2006 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS)
Authors: Erin Lillie, Beatriz Alvarado, and Heather Stuart
Background: Co-occurring disabilities are common and data indicate that those with both physical and mental disabilities face greater discrimination in the workforce. However, studies that consider disability type in determining labor market outcomes are needed; particularly in Canada. Objective: The objective was to examine the association of disability type and unemployment among working-aged Canadians using data from the 2006 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS). Methods: The 2006 PALS is a post-censal sample survey of individuals whose everyday activities are limited due to a physical/mental condition. The study design is cross-sectional. Two groups were compared: persons with one or more physical disabilities exclusively vs. those with one or more physical disabilities and a mental disability. We calculated the prevalence of unemployment and used multiple logistic regression to measure the association between disability type and unemployment, while considering relevant covariates. Results: The prevalence of unemployment was 20% overall; 35.4% in those with a co-morbid mental disability and 18.5% in those with exclusively physical disabilities. Those with a mental co-morbidity had approximately double the odds of being unemployed relative to those with exclusively physical disabilities and the effect remained significant (at p < 0.05) after adjustment for socio-economic indicators and disability severity. Conclusions: Compared to those with exclusively physical disabilities, individuals with co-morbid physical and mental disabilities were found to be at a significantly greater disadvantage when accessing employment. More research is needed to clarify whether these findings are indicative of discrimination and to proceed toward removing workplace barriers that persist in this population.
Please note that abstracts only appear in the language of the publication and might not have a translation.
Erin Lillie (2011).
The impact of a co-morbid mental disability on the experience of labour force disparities among Canadians with physical disabilities: an examination of the 2006 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS)
E. Zubrow, M. Rioux, C. Spielman, M. Dinca-Panaitescu, G. Kunkel, and A. Marsollais (2008).
Landscape of literacy and disability
Nathalie Giguère (2011).
Effets redistributifs de la mise en place d'une allocation pour personnes handicapées au Québec
A. Furrie and C. Crawford (2010).
About Canadians with disabilities who require support with their daily activities: What do we know about their unmet needs? What do we know about their caregivers?
Peter Burton and Shelley Phipps (2009).
Economic costs of caring for children with disabilities in Canada
Canadian Public Policy , 269-290