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Predicting vocational functioning and outcome in schizophrenia outpatients attending a vocational rehabilitation program.

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Bern University Hospital of Social and Community Psychiatry, Laupenstrasse 49, P. O. Box 52, 3000 Bern 10, Switzerland.



Vocational rehabilitation is a central issue in the rehabilitation of patients with chronic schizophrenia. However, even with the help of comprehensive integration programs, achieving this objective remains a very ambitious and difficult undertaking. Therefore, a profound and up-to-date knowledge of vocational functioning and outcome predictors in patients who have the goal to return into competitive employment is imperative. The objective of the present study was to test the predictors summarized in the recent review of Cook and Razzano, as well as to test those predictors specified in the nine hypotheses put forward by Anthony and Jansen in schizophrenia patients enrolled in a vocational rehabilitation program.


The predictive value of ten hypotheses centering on vocational functioning and outcome were consecutively tested in a sample of 53 schizophrenia patients. Those predictors identified as significant were then taken into a 'winner take all' regression in order to determine which of them were the best.


The overall work performance observed in a workshop proved to be the best predictor of vocational functioning. Contrary to the pivotal claim in Anthony and Jansen's review, in our sample, negative symptoms indeed influenced vocational functioning, outcome and functional skills. Cognitive impairments, social competence and fatalistic control beliefs also had predictive value for vocational functioning and outcome.


These results reflect the accumulated findings of the past decade as summarized by Cook and Razzano. Moreover, they serve to substantiate the necessity of promoting the concept of cognitive remediation and associated programs designed to transform fatalistic beliefs into feelings of hopefulness, thereby enhancing the readiness of schizophrenia patients to enroll in rehabilitation programs.

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