Supported education for adults with psychiatric disabilities: effectiveness of an occupational therapy program.

OBJECTIVE: This study assessed the effectiveness of a supported education program for adults with psychiatric disabilities.

METHOD: Thirty-eight adults with psychiatric disabilities were randomly assigned to an experimental group (n = 21) that received supported education services or to a control group (n = 17) that received treatment as usual.

RESULTS: We found a statistically significant difference between experimental and control group participant scores on the five instruments used to measure the program’s effectiveness. Sixteen of the 21 experimental group participants (76%) completed the program. At 6-month follow-up, 10(63%) had enrolled in an educational program, had obtained employment, or were applying to a specific program. Only 1 of the control group participants was enrolled in an educational program.

CONCLUSION: The results support the effectiveness of the supported education program. A significant number of participants were able to improve their basic academic skills, enhance professional behaviors and social skills, and return to the school or work environment.