Service intensity as a predictor of competitive employment in an individual placement and support model

Authors: McGurk, S. R., Mueser, K. T, Feldman, K., Wolfe, R., & Pascaris, A.
Year Published 2011
Publication Psychiatric Services
Volume 62
Number 9
Pages 1066-1072
Publisher Psychiatric Services

Research has been done on supported employment for people with psychiatric disorders; however, little of it has been focused "on variables that moderate the relationship between service intensity and vocational outcomes" (p. 1067)


The study reviewed "four aspects of service intensity in a supported employment program" (p. 1067):
1. Average level of service intensity
2. Association between service intensity and weeks worked
3. Individual demographics and clinical variables associated with service intensity
4. Individual characteristics that moderate the relationship between service intensity and weeks worked


The setting included 2 Psychiatric Rehabilitation Centers located in Chicago, Illinois.


The sample was made up of 96 participants in the IPS group and 98 in the diversified placement approach group. Participants were randomly assigned to the two groups, and 5 discontinued IPS services within the first 3 months, which reduced the sample size for IPS to 91.

Data Collection

The intervention group was enrolled between 1999 and 2002, while data collection continued until 2004. Data were obtained from Threshold PsychServe system and were measured in terms of hours of support. Clients were also completed a survey, which included demographics, as well as a self-report of number of weeks worked and number of years since last employment.

The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale was administered, as well as the number of lifetime hospitalizations and diagnosis (using DSM-IV). These were collected at baseline.

Data were analyzed using SPSS 11.0 for Windows and Hierarchical Linear Modeling. Zeroes were recorded for participants' IPS contacts for quarters when they dropped IPS.

Hypotheses were tested by totaling variables across the entire study and conducting hierarchical linear modeling regressions, as well as examining the data longitudinally by using the hierarchical linear model.


The comparison condition was the Diversified Placement Approach.


Forty-eight participants continued IPS services for the entire two years. People who dropped out did not differ from those who continued on either demographics or clinical variables.

IPS services and mental health services declined over time; therefore, the intensity of IPS services was positively correlated with mental health services. The number of IPS contacts in one quarter was positively associated with the number of weeks worked in the following quarter.


Increasing ISP services intensity may improve employment outcomes.

Disabilities Emotional disturbance
Populations Hispanic or Latino | Black / African American
Outcomes Employment acquisition
Research Design Mixed methods
Peer Reviewed Yes