What helps people with bipolar affective disorder succeed in employment: a grounded theory approach

Work. 2002;19(1):47-62.


The present study used a qualitative research design to unfold those contextual factors which influence vocational outcomes amongst people with bipolar disorder (BD). The data for this qualitative study was collated using a grounded theory approach because of its particular relevance to the study's aims i.e., to propose a theory grounded in the data that provided an account of the vocational integration process people with BD go through. The emerging theory consists of two over-arching principles that determine an individual's readiness to join the workforce: i) recovery from an acute phase of BD and ii) goodness of fit between the individual, support, job and wider contextual components. The emerging theory is in general agreement with those issues discussed in the literature. The present study also highlights the importance of maintaining a sense of hope and how self-determination may help individuals achieve their vocational goals. The credibility of these findings was strengthened by the method of triangulation of data interpretation and sources.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bipolar Disorder / psychology
  • Bipolar Disorder / rehabilitation*
  • Employment / psychology*
  • Female
  • Goals
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New Zealand
  • Qualitative Research
  • Rehabilitation, Vocational*