IPS was designed to help individuals with severe mental illness find and keep a job. This evaluation directly compared IPS to a separate intervention, EVR, to understand which of the two might be more effective. The distinctive features of IPS are individualized, rapid help with a job search.

IPS was designed to help individuals with severe mental illness find and keep a job. This evaluation directly compared IPS to a separate intervention, EVR, to understand which of the two might be more effective. The distinctive features of IPS are individualized, rapid help with a job search.

IPS gave people ongoing support to find work based on their own preferences, a vocational assessment, and job development. Employment specialists gave individualized support to participants as well as counseling and help with transportation. There was no time limit on IPS services; employment support was given as needed. IPS was provided to unemployed individuals who were living in an urban neighborhood that was low income and who had severe mental disorders that kept them from finding employment for at least two years. This study of IPS was implemented at Community Connections, a large mental health agency in Washington, DC.

The effectiveness of IPS when compared to EVR indicates the effect of being referred to a set of services that includes those unique to IPS or how much better the offer of IPS met participants’ needs than the offer of EVR. IPS gave individualized vocational support, whereas EVR provided stepwise vocational services through rehabilitation agencies. The main services for EVR consisted of work or training specially supervised by mental health staff and the presence of a vocational counselor, who helped match participants with rehabilitation agencies.

Year evaluation began: 1994
Populations and employment barriers: Unemployed, Mental illness
Intervention services: Case management, Employment retention services, Substance use disorder treatment and mental health services, Individual Placement and Support, Work readiness activities, Job search assistance, Job development/job placement
Setting(s): Urban only

Effectiveness Rating and Effect By Outcome Domain

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Outcome domain Term Effectiveness rating Effect in 2018 dollars and percentages Effect in standard deviations Sample size
Increase earnings Short-term Little evidence to assess support unfavorable $-42 per year 0.00 150
Long-term No evidence to assess support
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Increase employment Short-term No evidence to assess support
Long-term No evidence to assess support
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Decrease benefit receipt Short-term No evidence to assess support
Long-term No evidence to assess support
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Increase education and training All measurement periods No evidence to assess support

Sample Characteristics

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State or region: District of Columbia

Participant race and ethnicity
Black or African American
83%
Unknown or not reported
17%

Studies of this Intervention

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Study Quality Rating Study Counts per Rating
High High 1