Vocational rehabilitation for subjects with severe mental illnesses in Germany. A controlled study

Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2009 Jul;44(7):523-31. doi: 10.1007/s00127-008-0466-2. Epub 2008 Nov 13.


Objective: To assess the longitudinal effectiveness of a comprehensive vocational rehabilitation program in Germany.

Methods: In a non-randomized open study, 106 participants of two comprehensive rehabilitation programs were prospectively and multidimensionally compared to a control group (n = 75) at program termination and at a 9 months follow-up. Primary outcome was employment status at 9 months follow-up, secondary outcome parameters were changes in symptoms (Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale), subjective well-being (WHOQOL-Bref), and level of functioning (Level of Functioning Scale) during the study.

Results: Regarding the primary outcome measure, there was significant more day structuring employment (mainly sheltered) in the rehabilitation group than in the comparison group (39.7 vs. 18.7%) at 9 months follow-up. Regarding secondary outcomes, rehabilitation participants showed a better course in general symptoms, subjective well-being and level of functioning.

Conclusion: Vocational services proved to be effective to find day structuring employment for subjects with severe mental illness. Furthermore it had positive effects on functioning and psychological well-being during a 9-months follow-up period.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Dropouts / statistics & numerical data
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / statistics & numerical data
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Rehabilitation, Vocational / methods*
  • Rehabilitation, Vocational / standards
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sheltered Workshops / statistics & numerical data