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J Appl Behav Anal. 2005 Fall;38(3):359-72.

The impact of enhanced incentives on vocational rehabilitation outcomes for dually diagnosed veterans.

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  • 1Bedford VA Medical Center, Massachusetts, USA.


This study evaluated the efficacy of adding contingency management techniques to vocational rehabilitation (VR) to improve treatment outcome as measured by entry into competitive employment. Nineteen dually diagnosed veterans who entered VR in the Veterans' Administration's compensated work therapy (CWT) program were randomly assigned to CWT (n = 8) or to CWT with enhanced incentives (n = 11). Over the first 16 weeks of rehabilitation, those in the incentives condition could earn up to dollar 1,006 in cash for meeting two sets of clinical goals: (a) remaining abstinent from drugs and alcohol and (b) taking steps to obtain and maintain a competitive job. Results indicate that relative to participants in the CWT-only group, those in the incentives condition engaged in more job-search activities, were more likely to remain abstinent from drugs and alcohol, were more likely to obtain competitive employment, and earned an average of 68% more in wages. These results suggest that rehabilitation outcomes may be enhanced by restructuring traditional work-for-pay contingencies to include direct financial rewards for meeting clinical goals.

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