To assess impact of employment on recovery in a sample of adults from Vancouver At Home (VAH) study, who were homeless and were diagnosed with severe mental disorders.
The VAH included two randomized controlled trials investigating the effect of housing first with support intervention in vulnerable population. Employment was assessed at baseline and during the follow-up using Demographics, Housing, Vocational, and Service Use History (DSHH), and Vocational Timeline Follow-Back (VTLFB) self-report questionnaires, respectively. Recovery was examined using Recovery Assessment Scale (RAS) at baseline and at 24-month follow-up visit. Multivariable regression models were built to examine: (1) the effect of current employment at baseline on RAS score at baseline, and RAS score at 24-month follow-up visit; and (2) and to examine the cumulative effect of recent employment over 8 follow-up visits on RAS score at 24-month visit. Cumulative effect of employment over the follow-up visits was weighted by recency using a pre-specified weighting function.
Employment at baseline was associated with an increase in recovery score at baseline [8.06 (95% CI 1.21, 14.91); p = 0.02], but not with recovery score at 24-month follow-up visit [3.78 (−4.67, 12.24); p = 0.37]. Weighted cumulative effect of employment over 8 follow-up visits was associated with increase in RAS score at 24-month follow-up visit [8.33 (1.68, 14.99) p = 0.01].
Employment is associated with an increase in recovery. Our result suggests a dual effect of employment on recovery, an immediate effect through current employment, and a long-term effect of cumulative employment.