Characteristics of people with severe mental illness who obtain employment

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Aims and method We explored sociodemographic and clinical factors associated with obtaining employment for people with severe mental illness. Standardised validated interviews and questionnaires were administered to participants who had been recruited into a randomised controlled trial of supported employment. Results Older age and diagnosis of schizophrenia were found to be independent predictors of unemployment in the previous year. Other factors of unemployment such as ethnicity and educational level were not associated with obtaining employment. Clinical implications Older people and those with a diagnosis of schizophrenia may need additional targeted help in obtaining employment if they are to be helped to meet their vocational aims. Further research is needed to determine how this can be done most effectively.




Butler, G., Howard, L., Choi, S., & Thornicroft, G. (2010). Characteristics of people with severe mental illness who obtain employment. Psychiatrist, 34(2), 47–50.

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