Employment Outcomes From VA Vocational Services Involving Transitional Work for Veterans With a Diagnosis of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

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American Psychological Association

Objective: Transitional work (TW) for veterans with psychiatric disabilities is the predominant model of vocational rehabilitation in the Veterans Health Administration (VA). Although, on average, TW employment outcomes have been demonstrated to be inferior to supported employment. little is known about the potential subgroup of veterans for which TW may be most effective. This study of veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) examines differences in competitive employment outcomes and identifies characteristics of veterans who chose to engage in TW compared with those who did not. Method: A post hoc comparative subgroup analysis of veterans with PTSD randomly assigned to TW as part of a randomized controlled trial was conducted. Veterans were divided into 2 subgroups: those who engaged in TW (n = 141) and nonengagers (n = 129). Differences in baseline characteristics were examined and 18-month employment outcomes were compared. Results: There were no differences in 18-month employment outcomes between TW engagers and nonengagers. Compared with TW engagers, those that did not engage in TW were 2.5 times more likely to get a competitive job within the first 6 months and were less likely to obtain lower skilled jobs. Younger age, adequate housing, personal means of transportation, and recent work history factor into the odds of gaining and maintaining competitive work. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: Consistent with past research, engagement in TW did not result in improved long-term competitive employment outcomes for veterans with PTSD. Those who did not engage in TW were more likely to gain a competitive job within the first 6 months.

posttraumatic stress disorder, vocational rehabilitation, transitional work, employment, veterans, INDIVIDUAL PLACEMENT, SUPPORT, Psychiatry, Rehabilitation
Davis, L. L., Resnick, S. G., Maieritsch, K. P., Weber, K. C., Erbes, C. R., Strom, T. Q., McCall, K. P., & Kyriakides, T. C. (2019). Employment outcomes from VA vocational services involving transitional work for veterans with a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder. In Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal (Vol. 42, Issue 3, pp. 257–267). American Psychological Association (APA). https://doi.org/10.1037/prj0000357