Understanding interventions and outcomes in supported employment and individual placement support: A qualitative evidence synthesis

Susan Baxter, Jane Cullingworth, Adam Whitworth, Katherine Runswick-Cole, Mark Clowes

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Abstract

Economically developed economies continue to display large and long-standing disability employment gaps. Train-then-place activation models have traditionally dominated efforts to support non-working disabled people to gain employment but recently there has been increasing interest in place-then-train Supported Employment (SE) activation models. Evidence regarding the effectiveness of SE approaches is growing. However, authors have called for greater understanding of the mechanisms underpinning these interventions. We therefore carried out a systematic review of qualitative research to understand the processes operating. We carried out a systematic review of qualitative research around SE interventions carried out in developed countries since 2000 in any population excepting those with severe mental illness. We used thematic synthesis and logic modelling methods and assessed the quality of the body of literature. We identified and included 13 relevant source studies containing qualitative data. Key aspects of the programmes reported were the nature of the support, the employment advisor, and the type of employment. Influencing factors were client-related, employer and employment-related, programme-related, and system-related. Effects beyond the gaining of employment included a changed attitude to work, different outlook, increased skills and/or confidence. Suggested longer-term impacts were on health and wellbeing, financial security, independence, contribution to society and sense of belonging. This review adds to the growing evidence regarding the value of SE interventions for disabled people. It adds insights regarding the key elements of the programmes, and suggests outcomes beyond the measures typically considered within quantitative studies. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2024 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.]
Original languageEnglish
Article number101579
JournalDisability and Health Journal
Volume17
Issue number2
Early online date12 Jan 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024

Keywords

  • Systematic review
  • Disabled people
  • Supported employment
  • Employment support
  • Individual placement support

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