Experiences with Individual Placement and Support and employment – a qualitative study among clients and employment specialists

Miljana Vukadin*, Frederieke G. Schaafsma, Harry W. C. Michon, Marianne de Maaker-Berkhof, Johannes R. Anema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is an evidence-based, effective approach to help people with severe mental illness (SMI) achieve competitive employment. The aim of the present study is to explore experiences with Individual Placement and Support using a multifaceted implementation strategy (IPS + MIS), and competitive employment. The goal of this strategy was to improve IPS implementation by enhancing collaboration between mental health care and vocational rehabilitation stakeholders, and realizing a secured IPS funding with a ‘pay for performance’ element. Methods: A qualitative, exploratory study was performed using semi-structured interviews with IPS clients (n = 10) and two focus groups with IPS employment specialists (n = 7 and n = 8) to collect rich information about their experiences with IPS + MIS and competitive employment. Thematic content analysis was used to analyse the data. Results: Themes related to experiences with IPS and the multifaceted implementation strategy were identified, including the importance of discussing the client’s motivation and motives to work, facilitators and barriers to obtaining and maintaining employment, facilitators to collaboration between stakeholders, barriers to benefits counselling, organizational barriers to IPS execution and collaboration between stakeholders, financial barriers to IPS execution and experiences with the pay for performance element. Conclusions: Although the multifaceted implementation strategy seems to contribute to an improved IPS implementation, the barriers identified in this study suggest that further steps are necessary to promote IPS execution and to help people with SMI obtain and maintain competitive employment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number181
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

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