Articles

Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 63-77

A cost-effectiveness comparison of supported employment and rehabilitative day treatment

  • Robin E. ClarkAffiliated withNew Hampshire-Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center
  • , Philip W. BushAffiliated withNew Hampshire-Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center
  • , Deborah R. BeckerAffiliated withNew Hampshire-Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center
  • , Robert E. DrakeAffiliated withNew Hampshire-Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center

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Abstract

Recent research suggests that, for some people with severe mental illness, supported employment could improve vocational outcomes for little additional expense. This study describes the costs and client outcomes in one mental health center that converted two rehabilitative day treatment programs to supported employment. Converting from day treatment to supported employment improved vocational outcomes significantly without increasing costs. Although total costs for community treatment were lower in both sites after implementing supported employment, differences appeared to be due to decreasing unit costs over the study period. Results illustrate the importance of testing the effects of cost estimation methods on findings.