A prospective analysis of work in schizophrenia

Schizophr Bull. 2001;27(2):281-96. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.schbul.a006874.


This study examined the longitudinal course of competitive employment in patients with schizophrenia following treatment for an acute exacerbation, and prospectively predicts work approximately 2 years later from sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. A sample of 528 patients was assessed at baseline, and 313 were followed up 1 and 2 years later. Assessments included sociodemographic characteristics, premorbid functioning, work history, symptoms, social functioning, recent efforts to find work, and interest in work. Analyses examined changes in competitive work from baseline to the followups, the correlates of work history, the prospective prediction of work at the 1- and 2-year followup assessments, and correlates of competitive work. Competitive employment increased significantly from 10 percent at baseline to 23 percent and 21 percent at the 1- and 2-year followups, respectively. At baseline, among patients who were not competitively working, 61 percent reported interest in working. Patients who were not competitively employed at baseline but reported making recent efforts to find work were more likely to be working at the followups than other not employed patients. Work at the 1- and 2-year followups was predicted by prior work experience, patient and mother's educational level, cognitive impairment, and social functioning. Similar correlates of current work status were found. Interventions may need to target educational level, cognitive impairment, and social competence and functioning in order to improve the competitive employment outcomes of persons with schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Cognition Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Rehabilitation, Vocational*
  • Schizophrenia / rehabilitation*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Social Adjustment
  • Treatment Outcome