Supported employment and education in comprehensive, integrated care for first episode psychosis: Effects on work, school, and disability income

Schizophr Res. 2017 Apr:182:120-128. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2016.09.024. Epub 2016 Sep 23.


Background: Participation in work and school are central objectives for first episode psychosis (FEP) programs, but evidence effectiveness has been mixed in studies not focused exclusively on supported employment and education (SEE). Requirements for current motivation to work or go to school limit the generalizability of such studies.

Methods: FEP participants (N=404) at thirty-four community treatment clinics participated in a cluster randomized trial that compared usual Community Care (CC) to NAVIGATE, a comprehensive, team-based treatment program that included ≥5h of SEE services per week, , grounded in many of the principles of the Individual Placement and Support model of supported employment combined with supported education services. All study participants were offered SEE regardless of their initial interest in work or school. Monthly assessments over 24months recorded days of employment and attendance at school, days of participation in SEE, and both employment and public support income (including disability income). General Estimation Equation models were used to compare CC and NAVIGATE on work and school participation, employment and public support income, and the mediating effect of receiving ≥3 SEE visits on these outcomes.

Results: NAVIGATE treatment was associated with a greater increase in participation in work or school (p=0.0486) and this difference appeared to be mediated by SEE. No group differences were observed in earnings or public support payments.

Conclusion: A comprehensive, team-based FEP treatment approach was associated with greater improvement in work or school participation, and this effect appears to be mediated, in part, by participation in SEE.

Keywords: First episode psychosis treatment; Schizophrenia; Supported employment and education.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Community Mental Health Services*
  • Disabled Persons / psychology*
  • Education, Special / methods
  • Employment*
  • Employment, Supported*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Income*
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychotic Disorders / complications
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology
  • Psychotic Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Schools*
  • Young Adult