Effects of job development and job support on competitive employment of persons with severe mental illness

Psychiatr Serv. 2005 Oct;56(10):1237-44. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.56.10.1237.


Objectives: Few studies have sought to determine which specific supported employment services improve employment outcomes for people with pyschiatric disabilities. This study examined the effects of job development and job support among other services on acquisition and retention of competitive employment.

Methods: Data used in the analysis came from seven sites of the Employment Intervention Demonstration Program. Employment data were collected weekly for a period up to 24 months for 1,340 participants. A random-effects meta-analysis was conducted.

Results: Job development increased the probability of obtaining competitive employment. The effects of job development on job acquisition remained after the effects of other factors were controlled for. Job support was associated with more months in the first competitive job but not total hours worked. However, no evidence for the causal role of job support was found in analyses that tested the effects of job support after the job support was provided. The causal role of job support alone was also cast in doubt by the fact that a substantial overlap existed between individuals who received job support and vocational counseling.

Conclusions: Job development is a very effective service when the goal is job acquisition. Job support is associated with retention of a first competitive job, but its causal role is questionable.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Employment, Supported* / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Program Development*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Social Support*