Effects of local unemployment rate on vocational outcomes in a randomized trial of supported employment for individuals with psychiatric disabilities
|Authors:||Cook, J. A., Razzano, L. A., Burke-Miller, J. K., Blyler, C. R., Leff, H. S., Mueser, K. T., Gold, P. B., Goldberg, R. W., Shafer, M. S., Onken, S. J., McFarlane, W. R., Donegan, K., Carey, Kaufmann, C., & Grey, D. D.|
|Publication||Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation|
Research confirms that workers with disabilities have high unemployment rates. Among this group, less is known about barrier to employment for individuals with psychiatric disabilities, especially those who receive vocational rehabilitation services. Information about this could help improve service delivery.
This study examined the impact of unemployment rates on the outcomes of individuals with psychiatric disabilities who were participating in supported employment services.
The setting was multiple community job sites across 7 states where individuals with psychiatric disabilities went to work.
Participants include 1,273 individuals with psychiatric disabilities from seven states, who were randomly assigned to experimental supported employment (51%) or services as usual(49%) for 24 months. There were approximately equal numbers of males and females. About 50% of the group were non minority. The median age of the participants was 38 years and around one third (35%) had a less than a high school education. The most prevalent diagnosis was schizophrenia (31%) followed by schizoaffective disorder, major depression and bipolar disorder. Almost all participants were prescribed medications at baseline.
Interviews were used to gain information about demographics, employment histories, income sources and amounts, clinical symptoms and other relevant information at the beginning of the study and then at 6 month intervals for 24 months. A variety of employment data was gathered such as hours worked, wages, job duties, benefits. Psychiatric symptoms were assessed using the PANSS a semi structured rating scale.
The control was typical vocational rehabilitation services.
Participants residing in areas with low unemployment rates who received evidenced based Supported employment services had consistently better outcomes than all others. This included those who received evidence based supported employment services in areas with high unemployment. The study condition and employment rate were significant predictors of both competitive employment and working 40 or more hours a month.
Evidenced based supported employment can help improve the effects of high unemployment on work outcomes for individuals with psychiatric disabilities. The labor market influences employment outcomes for individuals with psychiatric disabilities who are participating in vocational rehabilitation programs. Individuals who reside in areas with high unemployment rates are likely to have poor outcomes if they do not receive high quality supported employment services.
|Populations||Hispanic or Latino | Black / African American | White / Caucasian | Male & Female|
|Research Design||Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs)|