Purpose Personality disorders (PDs) are associated with severe functional impairment and subsequent high societal costs, increasing the need to improve occupational functioning in PD. Individual placement and support (IPS) is an effective, evidence-based method of supported employment, which so far has been tested in various mixed patient populations with severe mental illness (SMI, including PDs). However, the effectiveness of IPS for PDs per se remains uninvestigated. Methods Data from the SCION trial were used, including 31 SMI patients with PDs and 115 SMI patients with other primary diagnoses (primarily psychotic disorders). First, the interaction effect of diagnosis (PD vs other SMI) and intervention (IPS vs traditional vocational rehabilitation) was studied. Second, in the IPS condition, difference between diagnostic groups in time to first job was studied. Results We did not find evidence of a moderating effect of PD diagnosis on the primary effect of IPS (proportion who started in regular employment) (OR = 0.592, 95% CI 0.80-4.350, p = 0.606) after 30 months. Also, PD diagnosis did not moderate the effect of time until first job in IPS. Conclusions From the present explorative analysis we did not find evidence for a moderating effect of PD diagnosis on the effectiveness of IPS among PD participants. This indicates that IPS could be as effective in gaining employment in participants with PD as it is in participants with other SMI. Future studies, implementing larger numbers, should confirm whether IPS is equally effective in PDs and study whether augmentations or alterations to the standard IPS model might be beneficiary for PD.
Keywords: Employment; Individual placement and support; Netherlands; Personality disorder; Secondary analysis.