EVR was designed to help individuals with severe mental illness find and keep a job. This evaluation directly compared EVR to a separate intervention, IPS, to understand which of the two might be more effective. The distinctive feature of EVR was a stepped approach delivered by rehabilitation agencies in which individuals participated in paid work adjustment training in a sheltered workshop before pursuing competitive employment.
EVR provided a vocational counselor who helped place participants with rehabilitation agencies. The vocational counselor regularly monitored participants to ensure a good fit between the participant and rehabilitation agency. All rehabilitation agencies involved with EVR had the goal of gradually preparing individuals for competitive employment through a stepped approach of prevocational experiences that primarily consisted of paid work adjustment training in a sheltered workshop. This study of EVR was implemented by several rehabilitation agencies recommended by the District of Columbia Rehabilitation Services Administration.
The effectiveness of EVR when compared to IPS indicates the effect of being referred to a set of services that includes those unique to EVR, or how much better the offer of EVR met participants’ needs than the offer of IPS. EVR provided a stepped approach of vocational services through rehabilitation agencies, whereas IPS gave individualized vocational support. The main services for IPS consisted of assigned employment specialists outside of rehabilitation agencies to help participants obtain jobs quickly through a rapid job search and, following employment, provide as-needed individualized support (such as counseling or transportation).