Journal of Taiwan Occupational Therapy Research and Practice
Although large-scale surveys indicate that most patients with psychiatry disorder wish to return to work, unemployment remains a major consequence of schizophrenia and other severe mental illnesses. This paper reviews empirical studies published between 2002 and 2007 to identify variables related to employment outcome of psychiatry patients. Methods: Literature was identified through systematic searches in three databases (Medline, CINAHL, and PsycInfo). We applied combinations of three groups of key words to perform the search. They include: (1) outcome or predictor, (2) employment or work or job, (3) psychiatry or mental illness or mental disorder. Nineteen articles were located and 6 were excluded because of their review nature. Three of these papers were from the same study and were combined into one. Finally, 11 studies were used for current review. Results: Four categories were used to classify the predictors of employment: medical, psychosocial, environmental and functional variables. The more important factors were whether clients receive supported employment programs and their social skills/social contact. Conclusion: The current review identified 11 empirical studies for analysis. Our major finding is that the type of work rehabilitation program received by the patients played a major role in successful employment outcome, especially for supported employment. Other variables such as social skills/social contact need clinical attention to improve employment outcome.