JOURNAL ARTICLE

Evaluation of an employment program for people with mental illness using the Supported Employment Fidelity Scale

Errol Cocks, Ross Boaden
Australian Occupational Therapy Journal 2009, 56 (5): 300-6
20854535

BACKGROUND: The Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model aims to achieve open employment for people with mental illness. The Supported Employment Fidelity Scale (SEFS) is a 15-item instrument that evaluates the extent to which a service follows the IPS principles of best practice. This paper describes the IPS model and an evaluation of a specialist employment program for people with mental illness using the SEFS.

METHODS: The SEFS enabled a quantitative assessment of service provision against the criteria of evidence-based practice principles. Data were collected from multiple sources. In addition, a literature review was conducted, and personnel engaged in implementation of the IPS model at other Australian employment programs were consulted.

RESULTS: The program achieved a score of 59 of a possible 75 on the SEFS, which is described as fair supported employment.

DISCUSSION: Analysis of the 15-scale items resulted in the identification of strengths, areas for further development, and a set of recommendations.

CONCLUSIONS: The program was operating substantially in line with evidence-based practice principles and had considerable scope for further development. Issues arising from the evaluation, areas of applicability of the SEFS and the underlying literature, and implications for occupational therapy are highlighted.

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