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Psychiatr Prax. 1999 Sep;26(5):218-23.

[Predictors of success in supported employment programmes--results of a prospective study].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Westfälische Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Münster.



Vocational integration of mentally ill patients is confronted not only with illness-related restrictions but also with the current situation on the labour market and prejudices on the part of potential employers. The Consultancy Centres for Vocational Integration work with a supported employment approach which was adapted to the German situation. It includes prevocational training, assistance in finding appropriate jobs, cooperation with employing companies and long-term job site support.


Within the scope of a major study on vocational rehabilitation in the German region of Westphalia-Lippe, we carried out a prospective study of the further vocational course of 61 patients who had already been placed in competitive employment within the framework of the Consultancy Centres. These patients (30 men, 31 women) had a mean age of 31 years (+/- 6.9); 54% of them were suffering from schizophrenic disorders; mean duration of illness was 8.2 years (+/- 6.8).


After two years (and for a subsample of 33 patients also after 3 years) two-thirds of patients were still in competitive employment. Predictors of success proved to be 1) a higher ability to cope with vocational stress on introduction of the measure, 2) an earlier start to rehabilitation, and 3) financial assistance for the company. A close correlation was recorded between course of illness (rehospitalizations) and success of rehabilitation.


Even in the current situation of high unemployment rates vocational integration of mentally ill patients is possible and stable in medium term. Especially highly-motivated patients with favourable preconditions (early start of rehabilitation measures, higher ability to cope with work stress) are successful if intensive long-term support--including efforts involving employers--is provided.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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