Benefits and drawbacks of employment: perspectives of people with mental illness

Qual Health Res. 2004 Mar;14(3):381-95. doi: 10.1177/1049732303261867.


In this article, the author presents the perspectives of people with mental illness about the benefits and drawbacks of employment, what factors influence these, and how they affect consumers' decisions and actions. Forty-one consumers of mental health services participated in 76 in-depth interviews and two focus groups. The author coded data inductively and analyzed them using grounded theory method. The results demonstrate that the benefits and drawbacks of employment are experienced in six domains. Individuals' perceptions of benefits and drawbacks are influenced by individual and contextual factors, are dynamic over time, and are instrumental in determining their employment-related actions. The findings suggest several areas for future exploration with a view to improving policy and practice in employment for people with mental illness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude*
  • Employment*
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Mentally Ill Persons / psychology*
  • New South Wales