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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Converting Day Treatment Centers to Supported Employment Programs in Rhode Island
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OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the study was to compare vocational and nonvocational outcomes of clients of two community mental health centers that underwent conversion from day treatment programs to supported employment programs with outcomes of clients of a center that delayed conversion until after the study was completed.

METHODS: As part of a statewide effort in Rhode Island to convert day treatment programs to supported employment programs, the authors assessed 127 day treatment clients with severe mental illness in three community mental health centers. Two of the centers converted to supported employment, and one continued its rehabilitative day program. Participants were assessed prospectively for 30 to 36 months, with special attention to vocational and social outcomes.

RESULTS: Former day treatment clients in the converted centers attained higher rates of competitive employment than those in the comparison group (44.2 percent and 56.7 percent versus 19.5 percent). Other employment outcomes also improved, and hospitalization rates and overall social functioning were unchanged.

CONCLUSIONS: This study supports findings of previous studies suggesting that replacing rehabilitative day treatment programs with supported employment programs yields improvements in employment outcomes without adverse effects. (Authors)
Psychiatric Services