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Out of unemployment together

The roughly 140,000 vulnerable unemployed citizens in Denmark have complex social and health problems, including chronic, somatic, and psychological disorders, which greatly affect their lives. It is the main reasons for unemployment, which in a viscous circle can lead to social exclusion, economical marginalization, and increased risk of further disease, which again diminish the chances for employment. It is difficult for municipalities to break this downward spiral, that has great human and societal costs.


To develop initiatives that strengthen the citizens’ health and employment opportunities, it is necessary to gain more knowledge of the health perceptions of both citizens and municipality workers. Likewise, it is necessary to understand how health and employment is connected.



The purpose of the project is to uncover which social-, health and employment-related barriers and facilitators exist in the return to the labor market for vulnerable unemployed citizens. The project is made up of two sub-projects, that each focuses on different factors:


Better employment with health literacy

Challenges with health literacy plays a significant role in vulnerable unemployed citizens’ possibilities for employment. In this part of the project we focus on mapping the health literacy of the unemployed citizens, as well as identifying activities for improving the health literacy of the group.


Vulnerable unemployed citizens’ perspectives on coherency in care pathway

This sub-project focuses on citizens involved in a resource clarification program. In a resource clarification program, the municipality is responsible for the coordination and facilitating of the citizens’ involvement in health-, social- and employment focused activities. The project focuses on the citizens’ own perspectives of their involvement in their resource clarification program and their experience of coherency in their program.



The first sub-project combines qualitative interviews, observations of the citizens’ meetings with the municipality and questionnaires relating to health literacy. The health literacy is measured through Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ) and Work Rehabilitation Questionnaire (WORQ). The qualitative interviews gives an insight into the health literacy of the citizens, how they experience current activities in a health context and the role of health and health literacy, in gaining employment.


The second sub-project is based in ethnographic fieldwork and qualitative interviews. These methods are appropriate to investigate the citizens’ perspectives. The researchers will follow the citizens in their resource clarification program e.g., in their meetings with the municipality and health sector. These observations of meetings will be supplied by continual interviews and communication regarding the citizens resource clarification program.


Project period

01.09.2021 – 31.08.2022


Collaboration and fund providers

Funding: Danske Regioner | The Novo Nordisk Foundation | The Velux Foundation


Collaborators: Department of Odontology, UCPH | Department of Occupational and Social Medicine, Holbæk Hospital | Høje-Taastrup Municipality



Last Updated 19.10.2023