Aims: The aim of the present work is to analyse employers' and employees' attitudes towards the job integration of people with mental illness or disability and to highlight the socio-demographic and organizational characteristic that are more significantly associated with such attitudes.
Method: We performed PsycINFO, AskERIC and Medline searches for studies published from 1961 to 2002, with key words such as attitudes, stigma, schizophrenia, mental illness, disability, employers, employees, co-workers and supported employment.
Results: Our review of the literature showed that the possibility for people with severe mental illness or disability to enter job market is limited by the discriminating attitudes of employers. The socio-demographic and organizational characteristics, which are more significantly associated with employers' more positive attitudes, are: dimension of the company, previous positive contact with people with disability and employers' high educational level.
Conclusions: Such information could be useful to identify and, perhaps, select those companies, which can be predicted as more likely to accept people with mental disorders as part of their work force; they could also be used to train job applicants to improve their social skills. Finally such information could be used to plan specific programs to modify attitudes of employees and employers.