Best Practice in Occupational Therapy: Program Characteristics that Influence Vocational Outcomes for People with Serious Mental Illnesses
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BACKGROUND: Despite the known benefits of work for people with mental illnesses, vocational outcomes of this group remain poor. Attempts at comparing the efficacy of various models of service delivery have met with limited success due to variations across studies. PURPOSE: The purpose of this paper is to provide information about key characteristics related to outcomes in the field of vocational rehabilitation for people with serious mental illnesses. METHOD: A comprehensive review of literature published between 1990 and 2003 was conducted, resulting in 39 articles for analysis. RESULTS: A set of twelve characteristics was identified that appear to influence vocational outcomes across models. These characteristics relate to the types of services offered, the manner in which services are delivered, and the work environment. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: The authors suggest these characteristics can be incorporated across models and practice settings. The findings are discussed in terms of implications for best practice in occupational therapy.
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