Experiences with the implementation of Individual Placement and Support for people with severe mental illness: a qualitative study among stakeholders [2018]

Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is an evidence-based approach to help people with severe mental illness achieve competitive employment. This article provides insight into an organizational and a financial implementation strategy for IPS in the Netherlands by exploring the perceived facilitators and barriers among participating stakeholders. The goal of this multifaceted strategy was to improve IPS implementation by improving the collaboration between all organizations involved, and realising secured IPS funding with a ‘pay for performance’ element.

A qualitative, explorative study among practitioners (n = 8) and decision makers (n = 7) in mental health care and vocational rehabilitation was performed using semi-structured interviews to collect rich information about the possible facilitators and barriers with regard to the organizational and financial implementation strategy for IPS.

Important perceived facilitators were the key principles of the IPS model, regular meetings of stakeholders in mental health care and vocational rehabilitation, stakeholders’ experienced ownership of IPS and collaboration, the mandate and influence of the decision makers involved and secured IPS funding. Important perceived barriers included the experienced rigidity of the IPS model fidelity scale and lack of independent fidelity reviewers, the temporary and fragmented character of the secured funding, lack of communication between decision makers and practitioners and negative attitudes and beliefs among mental health clinicians. Changes in legislation were experienced as a facilitator as well as a barrier.

The results of this study suggest that the collaboration and IPS funding were experienced as improved by applying an organizational and a financial implementation strategy. However, considerable effort is still necessary to overcome the remaining barriers identified and to make the implementation of IPS a success in practice.

Miljana Vukadin, Frederieke G. Schaafsma, Marjan J. Westerman, Harry W. C. Michon & Johannes R. Anema
BMC Psychiatry, volume 18, Article number: 145 (2018)