Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Mueser, K. T., Becker, D. R., & Wolfe, R. (2001). Supported employment, job preferences, job tenure and satisfaction. Journal of Mental Health, 10 (4), 411-417.
Title:  Supported employment, job preferences, job tenure and satisfaction
Authors:  Mueser, K. T., Becker, D. R., & Wolfe, R.
Year:  2001
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Mental Health
Publisher:  Informa Health Care
Full text:    |   PDF   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Yes
Research design:  Randomized controlled trial

Structured abstract:

Background:  Brief job tenure is problematic because it often reflects client dissatisfaction with work, and it prevents advancement and the potential to earn higher wages. Relatively few client or situational factors have been consistently correlated with job tenure, with the exception of work experience. However, the role of client job preferences has been examined in only a few studies.
Purpose:  The relationships between job preferences, job satisfaction and job tenure were examined in a sample of 204 unemployed clients with severe mental illness randomly assigned to one of three vocational rehabilitation programs and followed for 2 years.
Setting:  The study was conducted at the Capitol Region Mental Health Center (CRMHC) in Hartford, Connecticut. All clients were receiving standard care for severe mental illness, including medication, case management, housing assistance, and access to psychiatric rehabilitation programs.
Study sample:  The study participants were 204 clients with severe mental illness. Criteria for participation included: (1) not currently employed in competitive work (defined by US Department of Labor); (2) interest in competitive employment; (3) attendance at two research introduction groups designed to inform clients about the study.
Intervention:  Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is a systematic approach to helping people with severe mental illness achieve competitive employment. It is based on eight principles: eligibility based on client choice, focus on competitive employment, integration of mental health and employment services, attention to client preferences, work incentives planning, rapid job search, systematic job development, and individualized job supports. Systematic reviews have concluded that IPS is an evidence-based practice
Control or comparison condition:  The condition was a psychiatric rehabilitation program (PSR) and standard services (Standard).
Data collection and analysis:  Throughout the 2 years of the study information on work, including the type of job, wages, and hours worked, was obtained weekly through brief interviews with clients and vocational staff. In addition, job satisfaction was rated using the Indiana Job Satisfaction Scale 2 weeks after beginning a new job and bi-monthly thereafter as long as clients remain on the job.
Findings:  For clients in the IPS program, those who obtained jobs that matched their pre-employment preferences for type of work desired reported higher levels of job satisfaction and had longer job tenures than clients who obtained jobs that did not match their preferences. For clients in the PSR or Standard programs, job preferences were not related to job tenure or satisfaction.
Conclusions:  The findings replicate previous research in this area, and suggest that helping clients obtain work that matches their job preferences is an important ingredient of success in supported employment program.

Disabilities served:  Chronic mental illness
Populations served:  Gender: Female and Male
Race: Black / African American
Race: White / Caucasian
Interventions:  Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model of supported employment
Outcomes:  Increase in tenure