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Evaluation of an intervention to support decisions on disclosure in the employment setting (DECIDES): study protocol of a longitudinal cluster-randomized controlled trial

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K M E Janssens, J van Weeghel, C Henderson, M C W Joosen, E P M Brouwers

Original languageEnglish
Article number443
Issue number1
Early online date29 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2020


King's Authors


BACKGROUND: Unemployment rates are higher among people with mental health issues/illness (MHI) than in the general working population, and many of them face the dilemma of whether or not to disclose their MHI when searching for employment. Disclosure can lead to rejection and discrimination, but alternatively can also have important advantages that may be necessary to retain employment. Whether disclosure decisions lead to sustainable employment depends on many factors, of which unemployed people themselves can only influence their decision to disclose or not and the way in which they communicate. This study evaluates the cost-effectiveness of an intervention to support unemployed people with MHI in their disclosure decision and communication.

METHODS: This is a two-armed, clustered, randomized controlled trial with longitudinal design and randomization at organization level. An intervention will be examined, which consists of a disclosure decision aid tool (CORAL.NL) for unemployed people and workplace stigma-awareness training especially designed for employment specialists, which focusses on how to support unemployed people in their disclosure decisions. Participants in the intervention group are unemployed people who receive support from trained employment specialists from organizations allocated to the intervention group, and receive the CORAL.NL decision aid after baseline. The control group consists of unemployed people who receive support as usual from employment specialists from different organizations allocated to the control group. Primary outcomes are: cost-effectiveness of the intervention, e.g. healthcare costs, having employment, days until start of employment, independency of social security, having other forms of employment and decision making about disclosing MHI. Secondary outcomes are mental health and wellbeing, stigma and discrimination and work-related factors. Financial income data are collected via the registration systems of Dutch municipalities and Statistics Netherlands, and by questionnaires at baseline, and at 3, 6 and 12 months.

DISCUSSION: If using a decision aid to decide about disclosure of MHI leads to people finding and retaining employment more often, this study will contribute to lowering healthcare and societal costs.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Netherlands Trial Register: NL7798. Registered on 4 June 2019.

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