Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is a psychosocial intervention with a considerable body of evidence for its effectiveness in helping people with Severe Mental Illness (SMI) to obtain and maintain competitive job. However, little is known about IPS model in Italy, a country with a different socioeconomic climate than the USA and the UK. Aim of this study was to investigate the effect of IPS in Italian patients with SMI, assessing the main competitive employment outcomes and drop-out rates during a 3-year follow-up period.
Participants (n = 46) were recruited from the 7 adult Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) of the Reggio Emilia Department of Mental Health. Together with drop-out rates, we examined job acquisition (employment in the labor market for at least 1 day during the follow-up), job duration (total number of days worked), job tenure (weeks worked on the longest-held competitive job), and total hours per week worked.
A crude competitive employment rate of 50% and a crude drop-out rate of 34.8 over the 3-year follow-up period were found. Using a Kaplan-Meyer survival analysis, the cumulative employment rate reached a 73% percentage at 36 months.
This study shows the feasibility and the utility of an implementation strategy for applying the IPS approach in the public mental health care system in Italy.