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Psychiatr Rehabil J. 2008 Spring;31(4):340-9. doi: 10.2975/31.4.2008.340.349.

Individual placement and support for individuals with recent-onset schizophrenia: integrating supported education and supported employment.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-6968, USA.



To describe the adaptation of the Individual Placement and Support model of supported employment to individuals with a recent first episode of schizophrenia or a related psychotic disorder.


Given that the vocational goals of persons with a recent onset of schizophrenia often involve completion of schooling rather than only competitive employment, the principles of Individual Placement and Support were extended to include supported education. This extension involved initial evaluation of the most appropriate goal for individual participants, having the IPS specialist working on placement either with the participant or directly with educational and employment settings (depending on permitted disclosure and individual need), and follow-along support that included work with teachers and aid in study skills and course planning as well as typical supported employment activities. Work with family members also characterized this application of IPS. A randomized controlled trial is comparing the combination of IPS and skills training with the Workplace Fundamentals Module with the combination of brokered vocational rehabilitation and broad-based social skills training. Participants in the IPS condition have returned to school, competitive work, and combined school and work with approximately equal frequency.


IPS principles can be successfully extended to integrate supported education and supported employment within one treatment program. The distribution of return to school, work or their combination in this group of individuals with recent-onset schizophrenia supports the view that an integrated program of supported education and supported employment fits this initial period of illness.

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