Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Becker, D., Whitley, R., Bailey, E., & Drake, R. (2007). Long-term employment trajectories among participants with severe mental illness in supported employment. Psychiatric Services, 58 (7), 922-928.
Title:  Long-term employment trajectories among participants with severe mental illness in supported employment
Authors:  Becker, D., Whitley, R., Bailey, E., & Drake, R.
Year:  2007
Journal/Publication:  Psychiatric Services
Publisher:  American Psychiatric Association
Full text:    |   PDF   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Not reported
Research design:  Mixed methods

Structured abstract:

Background:  The article describes the evidence in support of supported employment for people with psychiatric disabilities. However, most of the studies are limited to a maximum of a 2-year follow-up period.
Purpose:  The purpose of the study was to evaluate individual work trajectories and generic work patterns over an eight- to 12-year period through a quantitative analysis. Perceived influences by participants of their work-related behaviors were also examined through a qualitative analysis.
Setting:  A community mental health center in New England was the setting for two studies. One began in 1990. The second began in 1995.
Study sample:  The sample included 38 with severe mental illness eight to 12 years after they enrolled in supported employment studies.
Intervention:  The intervention was supported employment services.
Control or comparison condition:  There was a matched sample of participants who did not receive supported employment services.
Data collection and analysis:  Participants in the two original studies who received IPS services were invited to participate in one followup reinterview in 2004. A modified version of a semi-structured interview developed of a previous study was used. Participants were asked about of all their work activities, including competitive employment, sheltered work, and volunteer work. The pattern of work was coded by the percentage of months worked, excluding recent work history. Most questions were closed; however, several open-ended questions were included. The analysis was developed using the grounded theory approach developed by Glaser and Strauss.
Findings:  During the follow up period, all participants had worked at least one job. Most jobs were competitive, and most participants worked at competitive jobs. Most people worked less than 20 hours per week for any job they held during the followup period. Twenty-seven participants had worked more than half of the follow-up period. 71% of the 38 participants were working at the time of the re-interview. The majority of the jobs were in clerical, service, or sales categories. The majority of participants received some type of benefits at long-term follow-up.
Conclusions:  The long-term trajectories of participants in supported employment programs, both vocational and nonvocational, appear to be positive.

Disabilities served:  Chronic mental illness
Populations served:  Gender: Female and Male
Race: Black / African American
Race: White / Caucasian
Ethnicity: Hispanic or Latino
Interventions:  Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model of supported employment
Supported employment
Outcomes:  Full-time employment
Part-time employment
Increase in tenure