Objective: The current study sought to examine demographic and clinical predictors of vocational recovery among young people with first-episode psychosis who participated in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) investigating the effectiveness of the supported employment model among this population.
Method: Our original RCT compared Individual Placement and Support + treatment as usual (n = 20) with treatment as usual alone (n = 21) (Killackey, Jackson, & McGorry, 2008). A series of logistic regression analyses were conducted to assess the predictive power of demographic and clinical factors on the vocational recovery of young people with first-episode psychosis.
Results: Vocational recovery (defined as securing a position in competitive employment or attending a course of education at any point during the 6-month follow-up period) was predicted by participating in the vocational intervention (OR = 14.17, p = .001), having never been married (compared to those married/de facto: OR = 6.56, p = .044), and the instrumental role functioning subscale from the Quality of Life scale (OR = 1.21, p = .037). When considered together, only treatment group remained significant: Participants randomized to the vocational intervention were 16.26 times more likely to obtain work or study during the follow-up period compared to participants randomized to treatment as usual.
Conclusions and implications for practice: It is critical that vocational services are introduced as part of an evidence-based, multidisciplinary approach in routine clinical care at early psychosis services. Further replication of these findings is indicated with a larger sample, particularly with the addition of cognitive training interventions to further improve vocational outcomes for young people with first-episode psychosis.