Using concept mapping to develop a conceptual framework of staff's views of a supported employment program for individuals with severe mental illness

J Consult Clin Psychol. 1994 Aug;62(4):766-75. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.62.4.766.


This article describes the use of concept mapping to develop a pictorial multivariate conceptual framework of staff views of a program of supported employment (SE) for individuals with severe mental illness. The SE program involves extended individualized supported employment for clients through a mobile job support worker (MJSW) who maintains contact with the client after job placement and supports the client in various ways. All 14 staff members of a psychiatric rehabilitation agency with assignments associated with the SE program. They brainstormed a large number of specific program activity statements (N = 96), sorted and rated the statements, and interpreted the map that was produced through multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis. The resulting map enabled identification of 4 issues that should be included in any theory of SE programs--the specific activity sequences that characterize the program itself; the pattern of local program evolution; the definition of program staff roles; and the influence of key contextual factors such as the client's family or the program's administrative structure. The implications of concept mapping methodology for theory development and program evaluation are considered.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Community Mental Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Employment*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Rehabilitation, Vocational
  • Workforce