Supported Employment: Cost-effectiveness Across Six European Sites

About the study

This study examined the cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit of Individual Placement and Support (IPS) for people with severe mental illness. Using the data collected for randomized controlled trials in six European countries, cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analyses were conducted to analyze the outcomes for IPS. The study compares the IPS approach to vocational services, and further examines budget and economic impacts of IPS.


What can be learned from this study?

• The study found IPS to be more effective than vocational services, as more than half of IPS participants worked for at least 1 day during the 18-month period while only 28 percent of individuals receiving vocational services worked during the same period. In addition, IPS participants were less likely to stop using the service compared to people using vocational services.

• Compared to vocational services (£6446), IPS was less costly at £2,424. Out of the six sites examined, five sites had lower cost for IPS. In terms of cost-benefit, IPS participants achieved £17,005 more in net benefit than people receiving vocational rehabilitation assistance.

• Building on the success of IPS in the United States, the approach should receive greater attention in other jurisdictions. Based on the findings, the authors conclude that more can be done to help people with severe mental illness find employment through the IPS model.


What method(s) did the study use?

A total of 312 people with severe mental health problems such as schizophrenia participated in a randomized controlled trial (EQOLISE trial) of IPS that was conducted in six European countries. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either IPS or vocational services and were followed for 18 months. The EQOLISE evaluation included both cost-effectiveness and partial cost-benefit analyses.