Friday, November 8, 2013
West End Ballroom A (Washington Marriott)
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
This randomized controlled trial, the first of its kind in Italy, has the objective of estimating the impact on employment and mental health of offering to severely mentally ill patient a two-year program of intensive job coaching. The experiment involved fours provinces of Lombardy, a total of 29 local mental health centers and 311 mentally ill, mostly schizophrenic, patients. The recruitment of the patients started in late 2009 and continued throughout 2010. Upon referral to the project, the patients went through a baseline interview, signed an informed consent and were randomized into experimental and control group. For the subsequent two years, the control group received the usual services, while the experimental group received help in finding a regular job by very dedicated and competent job coaches, who had a workload of 12-13 patients. The main tool used to place patients into jobs was to find them unpaid internships. After one year, over 40% of experimentals were or had been in an internship, against 20% of controls. This more intense treatment did not translate into a significant difference in the employment rate, that were below 20% for both groups after two years of treatment. in addition to these standard intention-to-treat estimates, we considered internships as a proxy for treatment and applied a LATE estimator technique.