Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2019;45(1):33-41    pdf full text

doi:10.5271/sjweh.3753

A randomized controlled multicenter trial of individual placement and support for patients with moderate-to-severe mental illness

by Reme SE, Monstad K, Fyhn T, Sveinsdottir V, Løvvik C, Lie SA, Øverland S

Objectives The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of individual placement and support (IPS) for people struggling with work participation due to moderate-to-severe mental illness. The study was conducted in Norway, a setting characterized by a comprehensive welfare system and strong employment protection legislation.

Methods A randomized controlled multicenter trial including 410 participants was conducted. The intervention group received IPS according to the IPS manual. The control group received high-quality usual care. The main outcome was competitive employment at 12- and 18-months follow-up, based on objective registry data. Changes in mental health and health-related quality of life were secondary outcomes.

Results At 12-months follow-up, 36.6% of participants in the IPS group and 27.1% of participants in the control group were in competitive employment, while the difference was slightly higher (37.4% versus 27.1%) at 18-months follow-up. Furthermore, IPS yielded positive effects on all the secondary outcomes compared to the control group (all P<0.05).

Conclusions The IPS model of supported employment was superior to high-quality usual care on both vocational and non-vocational outcomes for people with moderate-to-severe mental illness, even in a policy context characterized by high job security and a comprehensive welfare system.