Psychological interventions to improve work outcomes for people with psychiatric disabilities
Inactivity and loss of productive function commonly accompany severe psychiatric disorders. Vocational services such as supported employment (SE) have helped people with severe and persistent mental illness to obtain community-based competitive jobs by finding them appropriate opportunities, often with accommodations and supportive services. SE is now regarded as an evidence- based practice. Related cognitive impairments in emotion recognition, theory of mind, attention, memory and executive function can make it even more difficult for workers with a psychiatric disorder to understand accurately what is going on between themselves and their social environment at work. Regular feedback provides workers with a psychiatric disorder continual reassurance about what they are doing right as well as what they need to improve on. Studies published in industrial and organizational psychology and management journals strongly endorse work performance evaluations and feedback to improve productivity. There is only a small literature on the use of evaluation and feedback in rehabilitation settings.