his.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Swedish social insurance officers' experiences of difficulties in assessing applications for disability pensions: an interview study
Department of Community Medicine and Public Health, Örebro County Council, Örebro, Sweden / National Centre for Work and Rehabilitation, Department of Health and Society, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
National Centre for Work and Rehabilitation, Department of Health and Society, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
University of Skövde, School of Life Sciences.
2007 (English)In: BMC Public Health, ISSN 1471-2458, Vol. 7, 128- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

In this study the focus is on social insurance officers judging applications for disability pensions. The number of applications for disability pension increased during the late 1990s, which has resulted in an increasing number of disability pensions in Sweden. A more restrictive attitude towards the clients has however evolved, as societal costs have increased and governmental guidelines now focus on reducing costs. As a consequence, the quantitative and qualitative demands on social insurance officers when handling applications for disability pensions may have increased. The aim of this study was therefore to describe the social insurance officers' experiences of assessing applications for disability pensions after the government's introduction of stricter regulations.

Methods

Qualitative methodology was employed and a total of ten social insurance officers representing different experiences and ages were chosen. Open-ended interviews were performed with the ten social insurance officers. Data was analysed with inductive content analysis.

Results

Three themes could be identified as problematic in the social insurance officers' descriptions of dealing with the applications in order to reach a decision on whether the issue qualified applicants for a disability pension or not: 1. Clients are heterogeneous. 2. Ineffective and time consuming waiting for medical certificates impede the decision process. 3. Perspectives on the issue of work capacity differed among different stakeholders. The backgrounds of the clients differ considerably, leading to variation in the quality and content of applications. Social insurance officers had to make rapid decisions within a limited time frame, based on limited information, mainly on the basis of medical certificates that were often insufficient to judge work capacity. The role as coordinating actor with other stakeholders in the welfare system was perceived as frustrating, since different stakeholders have different goals and demands. The social insurance officers experience lack of control over the decision process, as regulations and other stakeholders restrict their work.

Conclusion

A picture emerges of difficulties due to disharmonized systems, stakeholder-bound goals causing some clients to fall between two stools, or leading to unnecessary waiting times, which may limit the clients' ability to take an active part in a constructive process. Increased communication with physicians about how to elaborate the medical certificates might improve the quality of certificates and thereby reduce the clients waiting time.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2007. Vol. 7, 128- p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Medical sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-2177DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-7-128ISI: 000248021600001PubMedID: 17597536Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-34447271212OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-2177DiVA: diva2:32453
Available from: 2008-06-12 Created: 2008-06-12 Last updated: 2013-09-20Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full textPubMedScopusLänk till fulltext

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Nilsson, Kerstin
By organisation
School of Life Sciences
In the same journal
BMC Public Health
Medical and Health Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

Altmetric score

Total: 23 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf