The quality of supported employment implementation scale (2008)

Authors: Bond, G. R., McHugo, G. J., Becker, D. R., Rapp, C. A., & Whitley, R.
Year Published 2008
Publication Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Volume 14
Number 3
Pages 201-212
Publisher IOS Press

Introduced in the 1980s supported employment (SE) is an approach to helping people with severe disabilities work in competitive employment positions. Although its principles are well described in the literature, its implementation has been variable throughout the U.S.


The purpose of this study was to develop a brief, self-explanatory checklist, suitable for use in a telephone interview format, and ultimately as an instrument completed by a program administrator or state planner, or as a self evaluation by a study site.


The setting were supported employment programs in Kansas and New Jersey.


The study sample included 32 supported employment programs across 2 states.

Data Collection

A 1.5-hour semi-structured interview using the Quality of Supported Employment Implementation Scale (QSEIS) was conducted with program directors in 32 supported employment programs. The QSEIS total scale and 4 sub-scales were correlated with 9 indicators of employment outcomes, obtained from a retrospective survey completed by program directors in 24 of the programs.


There was no control or comparison condition.


Substantial implementation of supported employment standards was found in these programs, with mean ratings exceeding 4.0 on a 5-point scale, for 18 of 33 items. Mean overall implementation was similar in both states, with somewhat different patterns, with NJ rating higher on Planning and Support, and KS rating higher on Integration of Mental Health and Rapid Job Search.


The QSEIS is a pragmatic tool for describing supported employment programs for people with severe mental illness, although more work on psychometric precision and predictive validity is needed. The survey provides norms by which other providers and other states can compare their achievement of the principles of supported employment.

Disabilities Emotional disturbance
Populations Male & Female
Outcomes Employment acquisition
NIDILRR Funded Not Reported
Research Design Qualitative
Peer Reviewed Yes