Protocol for a mixed-methods longitudinal study to identify factors influencing return to work in the over 50s participating in the UK work programme: supporting older people into employment (SOPIE)

Brown, J. et al. (2015) Protocol for a mixed-methods longitudinal study to identify factors influencing return to work in the over 50s participating in the UK work programme: supporting older people into employment (SOPIE). BMJ Open, 5(12), e010525. (doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010525) (PMID:26674507) (PMCID:PMC4691729)

Brown, J. et al. (2015) Protocol for a mixed-methods longitudinal study to identify factors influencing return to work in the over 50s participating in the UK work programme: supporting older people into employment (SOPIE). BMJ Open, 5(12), e010525. (doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010525) (PMID:26674507) (PMCID:PMC4691729)

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Abstract

Introduction Increasing employment among older workers is a policy priority given the increase in life expectancy and the drop in labour force participation after the age of 50. Reasons for this drop are complex but include poor health, age discrimination, inadequate skills/qualifications and caring roles; however, limited evidence exists on how best to support this group back to work. The Work Programme is the UK Government's flagship policy to facilitate return to work (RTW) among those at risk of long-term unemployment. ‘Supporting Older People Into Employment’ (SOPIE) is a mixed-methods longitudinal study involving a collaboration between academics and a major Work Programme provider (Ingeus). The study will investigate the relationship between health, worklessness and the RTW process for the over 50s. Methods and analysis There are three main study components. Embedded fieldwork will document the data routinely collected by Ingeus and the key interventions/activities delivered. The quantitative study investigates approximately 14 000 individuals (aged 16–64 years, with 20% aged over 50) who entered the Ingeus Work Programme (referred to as ‘clients’) in a 16-month period in Scotland and were followed up for 2 years. Employment outcomes (including progression towards work) and how they differ by client characteristics (including health), intervention components received and external factors will be investigated. The qualitative component will explore the experiences of clients and Ingeus staff, to better understand the interactions between health and (un)employment, Work Programme delivery, and how employment services can be better tailored to the needs of the over 50s. Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval was received from the University of Glasgow College of Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee (application number 400140186). Results Results will be disseminated through journal articles, national and international conferences. Findings will inform current and future welfare-to-work and job retention initiatives to extend healthy working lives.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Further funding for this work came from Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health Directorate (SPHSU1 and 2).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Brown, Dr Judith and Kiran, Professor Sibel and Thomson, Dr Hilary and Katikireddi, Dr Srinivasa and MacDonald, Professor Ewan and Neary, Miss Joanne and Leyland, Professor Alastair
Authors: Brown, J., Neary, J., Katikireddi, S., Thomson, H., McQuaid, R., Leyland, A., Frank, J., Jeavons, L., de Pellette, P., Kiran, S., and Macdonald, E.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Public Health
Journal Name:BMJ Open
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN:2044-6055
ISSN (Online):2044-6055
First Published:First published in BMJ Open 5(12): e010525
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
622471Supporting Older people into Employment (SOPIE): identitying factors influencing return to work in the over 50sEwan MacDonaldMedical Research Council (MRC)MR/L006367/1IHW - PUBLIC HEALTH
656591Evaluating the Health Effects of Social InterventionsMatthew EganMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/4IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
656601Measuring Health, Variations in Health and Determinants of HealthAlastair LeylandMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/5IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
727651SPHSU Core Renewal: Measuring and Analysing Socioeconomic Inequalities in Health Research ProgrammeAlastair LeylandMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/13IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
727671SPHSU Core Renewal: Informing Healthy Public Policy Research ProgrammePeter CraigMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/15IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU