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Ann Gen Psychiatry. 2010 Jan 6;9:2. doi: 10.1186/1744-859X-9-2.

Diachronic trends of employment outcome of prevocational training in psychiatric rehabilitation.

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Second Department of Psychiatry, University of Athens, Medical School, Attikon General Hospital, Athens, Greece.



Although many rehabilitation programmes of prevocational training for chronic mentally ill persons living in the community have been funded, there is scarce literature about the diachronic trends of their long-term employment outcome. Thus the aim of the present study was to compare the 2-year employment outcome of three groups of chronic psychiatric outpatients, having attended similar prevocational rehabilitation programmes in different periods of time.


The first group (1984 to 1986) comprised 67 rehabilitees, the second (1988 to 1989) 53 rehabilitees and the third (2000 to 2001) 56 rehabilitees. The three groups were compared with regard to employment follow-up achievements and hospitalisation rates assessed at the end of the 2-year follow-up period by a constructed overall index, encompassing employment qualitative and quantitative characteristics.


The third group compared to the first and second ones presented a worse employment outcome. No differences were found among the three groups with regard to hospitalisation rates.


There has been a decline in the employment outcome of prevocational training during the current decade. This decline can be attributed to contextual adverse factors such as unemployment, a more demanding labour market and disability allowances offered by the state (the 'benefit trap'). Moreover, the training itself may be 'old-fashioned' enough, thus providing the trainees with inadequate skills to obtain and maintain a competitive job.

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