Research Design Paper Example

The SE model emphasizes first locating a job in an integrated setting for minimum wage or above, and then placing the person on the job and providing the training and support services needed to remain employed (Wehman, 1985).Services such as individualized job development, one-on-one job coaching, advocacy with co-workers and employers, and "fading" support were found to be effective in maintaining employment for individuals with severe and profound mental retardation (Revell, Wehman & Arnold, 1984).The most promising of these have emerged from the tradition of psychiatric rehabilitation with its emphases on individual consumer goal setting, skills training, job preparation and employment support (Cook, Jonikas and Solomon, 1992).

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Most of the early attempts to evaluate such programs have naturally focused almost exclusively on employment outcomes.

However, theory suggests that sustained employment and living in the community may have important therapeutic benefits in addition to the obvious economic ones.

Over the past quarter century a shift has occurred from traditional institution-based models of care for persons with severe mental illness (SMI) to more individualized community-based treatments.

Along with this, there has been a significant shift in thought about the potential for persons with SMI to be "rehabilitated" toward lifestyles that more closely approximate those of persons without such illness.

The suspension of time limits on job placements, along with MJSW support, became the basis of SE services delivered at Thresholds.

There are two key psychosocial outcome constructs of interest in this study. This would include the specification of severity of cognitive and affective symptomotology as well as the overall level of psychological functioning. The population that is accessible to this study consists of all persons who were clients of the Thresholds Agency in Chicago, Illinois between the dates of March 1, 1993 and February 28, 1995 who met the following criteria: 1) a history of severe mental illness (e.g., either schizophrenia, severe depression or manic-depression); 2) a willingness to achieve paid employment; 3) their primary diagnosis must not include chronic alcoholism or hard drug use; and 4) they must be 18 years of age or older.

Controlled studies of sheltered workshop performance of persons with mental illness suggested only minimal success (Griffiths, 1974) and other research indicated that persons with mental illness earned lower wages, presented more behavior problems, and showed poorer workshop attendance than workers with other disabilities (Whitehead, 1977; Ciardiello, 1981).

In the 1980s, a new model of services called Supported Employment (SE) was proposed as less expensive and more normalizing for persons undergoing rehabilitation (Wehman, 1985).

To date, there have been no formal studies of the effects of psychiatric rehabilitation programs on key illness-related outcomes.

To address this issue, this study seeks to examine the effects of a new program of supported employment on psychosocial outcomes for persons with SMI.

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