Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation - Volume 41, issue 2
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Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation will provide a forum for discussion and dissemination of information about the major areas that constitute vocational rehabilitation.
Periodically, there will be topics that are directed either to specific themes such as long-term care or different disability groups such as those with psychiatric impairment. Often a guest editor who is an expert in the given area will provide leadership on a specific topic issue. However, all articles received directly or submitted for a special issue are welcome for peer review. The emphasis will be on publishing rehabilitation articles that have immediate application for helping rehabilitation counselors, psychologists and other professionals in providing direct services to people with disabilities.
Original research articles, review articles, program descriptions, and case studies will be considered for publication. Ideas for special topical issues are welcomed as well.
Abstract: An introduction and overview of the Special Issue on Evidence-based Best Practices in the Public Vocational Rehabilitation Program that Lead to Employment Outcomes is provided and briefly discussed.
Abstract: A multiple case study design, using modified consensual qualitative research (CQR) methodological elements for data analysis, was used to explore emerging and promising practices among four state vocational rehabilitation programs. One hundred fifty-eight counselors, mid-level managers, and leaders participated in semi-structured interviews to help identify both organizational and service delivery practices associated with successful employment outcomes in the public Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program. Conducting comprehensive, multiple case studies is time and resource intensive and can therefore be difficult to replicate. However, the eclectic methodology utilized for this study resulted in rich results that will be helpful in informing rehabilitation research,…practice, and policy.
Keywords: Multiple case study design, consensual qualitative research, state vocational rehabilitation agency, evidence-based practices, qualitative research
Abstract: The state-federal vocational rehabilitation (VR) program has been challenged to demonstrate the effectiveness of VR services provided to eligible consumers. State-federal VR agencies are under pressure to develop a foundation of evidence-based practices that lead to competitive employment outcomes for people with disabilities. This article provides a qualitative analysis of the organization structural elements and service delivery practices related to the provision of effective best practices that enhance employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Using a Consensual Qualitative Research (CQR) approach, a multi-stage qualitative analysis of four high performing state VR agencies was conducted to identify promising organizational and service…delivery practices that facilitate employment outcomes. Twenty-nine practices were identified as being supportive of the successful outcomes of persons with disabilities being served by these agencies. The identified practices reflect unique and similar service patterns across the four VR agencies studied. Practices were divided into Promising Organizational Practices and Promising Service Delivery Practices. The culture of an organization is an important factor in the development and sustainability of innovative practices. Best practices reconsider traditional rehabilitation counselor roles and offer new methods for delivering services. Rigorous research and program evaluation are required to identify which practices will ultimately constitute evidence-based practices.
Keywords: Evidence-based, promising practices, service delivery, organizational practices
Abstract: The state-federal vocational rehabilitation system is tasked to demonstrate accountability for employment outcomes of persons with disabilities. State VR agencies have sought to evaluate existing practices, and in areas that existing practices leave room for improvement, create the conditions for innovation to occur. The purpose of this article is to identify promising organizational and cultural factors that appear to promote best practices in the public vocational rehabilitation program. A multi-stage study utilizing the Consensual Qualitative Research (CQR) was conducted involving four high performing state VR agencies to discover emerging and promising organizational practices leading to improvements in employment outcomes of…people with disabilities. The comprehensive examination revealed specific organizational practices, culture and structural elements that encourage and support the development of innovative, effective service delivery practices. Given the complexity of service provision and the increasing demand for successful outcomes, VR agencies must develop organizational cultures that facilitate transformational learning by employing evidence-based practices that lead to successful outcomes for agency consumers.
Abstract: Evidence-based practice (EBP) is receiving increased attention from vocational rehabilitation (VR) professionals as the demand for accountability in rehabilitation and healthcare systems expands. The purpose of the current study was to determine the level of understanding VR professionals have of EBP with specific attention to perceived self-efficacy, outcome expectancy, barriers, and readiness to use evidence in current practice. Data were collected from 396 rehabilitation counselors, who were recruited from four state VR agencies. Results indicate self-efficacy and outcome expectancy were positively associated with readiness to use EBP, and agency barriers and personal barriers were negatively related to readiness to use…EBP. These social-cognitive predictors accounted for 44% of the variance in the stages of change scores, and outcome expectancy was the most significant predictor after controlling for the effect of perceived self-efficacy and barriers. To increase EBP among rehabilitation counselors, efforts should focus on increasing self-efficacy and outcome expectancy of EBP.
Abstract: The purpose of this article is to acknowledge the gap between research and practice in vocational rehabilitation (VR) and provide strategies for VR counselors to help bridge that gap. Evidence-based practice (EBP) and knowledge translation (KT) are two concepts that help the implementation of research into practice and have been adopted in health care and other related fields for many years. Although most research supports the implementation of these theories in health care settings, it is a fairly new concept in vocational rehabilitation. Many barriers, such as inadequate time, limited access to technology and research, and caseload size can inhibit…the implementation of EBP and KT for VR counselors. The Knowledge-to-Action (KTA) framework helps to overcome some of these barriers and facilitate counselors' abilities to acquire, apply, and share knowledge and evidence-based approaches. More strategies for facilitating KT and EBP implementation for VR counselors are reviewed.
Keywords: Knowledge translation, vocational rehabilitation, evidence-based practice
Abstract: As an epilogue to this special issue, this article provides a brief overview of the research undertaken by the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Evidence-Based Practice in Vocational Rehabilitation (RRTC-EBP VR) in Phase II of their studies, and what was learned from the comprehensive review of the literature (e.g., Fleming, Del Valle, Kim & Leahy, 2013) and multi-state case studies in terms of promising practices in state VR agencies (Leahy et al., 2013). Gaps identified in EBP research that hinders the implementation of efficacious, effective, and efficient services based on the best scientific evidence are discussed, and finally, recommendations…for future research directions and knowledge translation initiatives that will improve the effectiveness of VR service delivery practices are provided.