The relationship between employment and health and health care among working-age adults with and without disabilities in the United States
Purpose: To better understand the relationship between employment and health and health care for people with disabilities in the United States (US).
Methods: We pooled US Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (2004–2010) data to examine health status, and access to health care among working-age adults, comparing people with physical disabilities or multiple disabilities to people without disabilities, based on their employment status. Logistic regression and least squares regression were conducted, controlling for sociodemographics, health insurance (when not the outcome), multiple chronic conditions, and need for assistance.
Results: Employment was inversely related to access to care, insurance, and obesity. Yet, people with disabilities employed in the past year reported better general and mental health than their peers with the same disabilities who were not employed. Those who were employed were more likely to have delayed/forgone necessary care, across disability groups. Part-time employment, especially for people with multiple limitations, was associated with better health and health care outcomes than full-time employment.
Conclusion: Findings highlight the importance of addressing employment-related causes of delayed or foregone receipt of necessary care (e.g., flex-time for attending appointments) that exist for all workers, especially those with physical or multiple disabilities.
Journal of Disability and Rehabilitation
Taylor & Francis
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Reichard, A., Stransky, M., Brucker, D.L. & Houtenville, A.J. (2018) The relationship between employment and health among U.S. working-age adults with and without disabilities. Journal of Disability and Rehabilitation. Doi: 10.1080/09638288.2018.1465131.