Protocol for the effect evaluation of Individual Placement and Support (IPS): a randomized controlled multicenter trial of IPS versus treatment as usual for patients with moderate to severe mental illness in Norway
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Background: Roughly one third of disability pensions in Norway are issued for mental and behavioral disorders, and vocational rehabilitation offered to this group has traditionally been dominated by train-and-place approaches with assisted or sheltered employment. Based on a more innovative place-and-train approach, Individual Placement and Support (IPS) involves supported employment in real-life competitive work settings, and has shown great promise for patients with severe mental illness.
Methods/design: The study is a multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) of IPS in a Norwegian context, involving an effect evaluation, a process evaluation, and a cost/benefit analysis. IPS will be compared to high quality treatment as usual (TAU), with labor market participation and educational activity at 12 months post inclusion as the primary outcome. The primary outcome will be measured using register data, and the project will also include complete follow-up up to 4 years after inclusion for long-term outcome data. Secondary outcomes include mental health status, disability and quality of life, collected through survey questionnaires at baseline, and after 6 and 12 months. Participants will include patients undergoing treatment for moderate to severe mental illness who are either unemployed or on sickness or social benefits. The estimated total sample size of 400–500 will be randomly assigned to the interventions. To be eligible, participants must have an expressed desire to work, and sufficient Norwegian reading and writing skills to fill out the questionnaires.
Discussion: The Effect Evaluation of Individual Placement and Support (IPS) will be one of the largest randomized controlled trials to date investigating the effectiveness of IPS on competitive employment, and the first study to evaluate the effectiveness of IPS for patients with moderate to severe mental illness within a Norwegian context.
SubjectDisabilityIndividual placement and supportIPSMental healthQuality of lifeRandomized controlled trialVocational rehabilitationReturn to workLabor market participationSupported employment
Vigdis Sveinsdottir et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.