Virtually all studies of the individual placement and support (IPS) model of supported employment measure outcomes for job acquisition, but studies are less consistent in measuring job tenure, hours worked, and employment earnings. Lack of a common set of employment measures limits comparisons across studies and cumulative knowledge about IPS. To lay the groundwork for standardization, this study examined measures in four employment domains and their interrelationships.
Using a combined data set from four randomized controlled trials of IPS, this study examined mean differences between IPS participants (N=307) and participants in other vocational services (control sample) (N=374) in four domains (job acquisition, job duration, hours worked per week, and total hours and wages). Eight competitive employment measures were examined (employed at any time, total weeks worked, tenure in the longest-held job, total hours worked, average hours per week worked, total wages, days to first job, and working ≥20 hours per week during follow-up). Correlations between measures within both the IPS and control samples were determined.
IPS participants had significantly better outcomes across all employment measures and domains. Correlations between measures were strong within each domain, but they were variable between domains.
In addition to improving job acquisition, IPS improved job duration, hours worked per week, and total hours and wages. The correlational findings suggest proxy measures to assist meta-analysts in the synthesis of studies for which direct measures are unavailable. Initial steps toward a cross-disciplinary theoretical framework for employment outcomes are described. (Psychiatric Services 63:751–757, 2012; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201100270)