Service users' perceptions of the effective ingredients in supported employment
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Background: The UK government is advocating the use of supported employment to help people on incapacity benefits back to work, with an emphasis on Individual Placement and Support (IPS) models. However there is little UK-based evidence on the key ingredients of effective support. Aim: To ascertain service users' views of what they found helpful about supported employment. Method: Interviews were carried out with 182 people with severe and enduring mental health problems who were actively engaged with one of the six supported employment agencies included in the study. Results: Three themes emerged: emotional support, practical assistance and a client-centred approach. Conclusion: The findings highlight the importance of the quality of support, particularly through interpersonal dynamics, which go beyond the organizational features emphasized in the IPS model. Declaration of interest: The study was financed from Higher Education European Social Fund Objective 3 resources and the six partner agencies made contributions in kind.