OBJECTIVE: The objective of this review was to assess associations between Individual Placement and Support (IPS), employment, and personal and clinical recovery among persons with severe mental illness at 18-month follow-up.
METHODS: A systematic literature search identified randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing IPS with services as usual. Outcomes were self-esteem, empowerment, quality of life, symptoms of depression, negative or psychotic symptoms, anxiety, and level of functioning. A total of six RCTs reported data suitable for meta-analyses, and pooled original data from five studies were also analyzed.
RESULTS: Meta-analyses and analyses of pooled original data indicated that receipt of the IPS intervention alone did not improve any of the recovery outcomes. Participants who worked during the study period, whether or not they were IPS participants, experienced improved negative symptoms, compared with those who did not work (standardized mean difference [SMD]=-0.41, 95% confidence interval [CI]=-0.56, -0.26). For participants who worked, whether or not they were IPS participants, improvements were also found in level of functioning and quality of life (SMD=0.59, 95% CI=0.42, 0.77 and SMD=0.34, 95% CI=0.14, 0.54, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: Employment was associated with improvements in negative symptoms, level of functioning, and quality of life.