RehabWire Volume 2 number 9, October 2000

RehabWire for October is all in the mind. NIDRR-funded research includes people with psychiatric disabilities and the barriers they face as members of the community at large.

NIDRR Projects: Research in the New Millennium.

The MRI/Penn Training Center on Vocational Rehabilitation Services for Persons with Long-Term Mental Illness, Matrix Research Institute (H133B70007) led by Donald J. Dellario, PhD and Trevor Hadley, PhD. Roseann Rafferty, Project Officer.
Abstract: This RRTC focuses on four research areas: (1) improving the work incentives of the Social Security system, (2) linking client characteristics and program design to client outcomes, (3) exploring employer/employee relationships, and (4) examining vocational rehabilitation's relationship to behavioral managed care systems. It also focuses on four training issues: (1) improving rehabilitation research skills; (2) developing mental health/vocational rehabilitation curricula for human services, social work, and nursing; (3) assessing training methodologies in the field; and (4) expanding online dissemination to the field.
Find out more at:

Rehabilitation Research and Training Center in Rehabilitation of Persons with Long Term Mental Illness, Boston University (H133B990023) led by Marianne Farkas. Roseann Rafferty, Project Officer.
Abstract: The focus of the Center is on the recovery and rehabilitation of people with long-term mental illness, and the individual and environmental factors that promote recovery. The Center is tied together by its programmatic focus on three specific core areas: recovery dimensions, rehabilitation interventions, and alternative interventions. Research projects use a participatory research process with significant input from consumers and other stakeholders, and culminate in dissemination, training, or technical assistance activities to maximize the impact of the research program.
Find out more at:

Policy Barriers for People with Long Term Mental Illness Who Want to Work, National Rehabilitation Hospital Research Center (H133G80031) led by Gerben DeJong, PhD. Sean Sweeney, PhD, Project Officer.
Abstract: This project uses the personal experiences of people with long-term mental illness (LTMI) to identify policies and implementation strategies within the public assistance system that either promote work or create barriers to work for this population.
Find out more at:

Comparison of Two Employment Models for Consumers with Severe Mental Illness, The Thresholds (H133G90155) led by Taffy (M.L.) McCoy, PhD. Roseann Rafferty, Project Officer.
Abstract: This project compares supported employment with well-established, comprehensive psychiatric rehabilitation approaches. It also investigates interactions between consumer characteristics and employment approaches, toward an understanding of the best vocational rehabilitation strategies for people of color, especially people from the African American community. This study compares the effectiveness of two important, popular employment models for people with Severe Mental Illness (SMI): The Diversified Placement Approach (DPA) and a supported employment model developed in New Hampshire, known as Individual Placement and Support (IPS).

Variables Associated with Vocational Success Among Persons with Severe Mental Illness: An Empirical Study, Cleveland State University (H133G990036) led by Mieko Kotake Smith, PhD. Joyce Y. Caldwell, Project Officer.
Abstract: This project (1) examines the relationships between several variables and vocational success among people with severe and persistent mental illness; and (2) develops a model of how those variables together lead to vocational success in this population. The study is carried out at a community employment collaborative among three community-based rehabilitation service agencies in Cleveland Ohio that provides a range of vocational services to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. This study uses a longitudinal design with three data collection points to follow approximately 300 individuals receiving vocational training; the variables to be examined are in three areas: personal factors, work environment factors, and other factors.

Fall/Winter Calendar

  • National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, November 1, 2000. Sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association (
  • National Epilepsy Month, November 1, 2000. Sponsored by the Epilepsy Foundation of America (
  • National Family Caregivers Month, November 1, 2000. Sponsored by the National Family Caregivers Association (


  • World AIDS Day, December 1, 2000. Sponsored by the American Association for World Health (

New Research: Selections from REHABDATA.

Chiu, F. P. F. (2000) The development of supported employment services for people with mental illness: Local experience in Hong Kong. Work, 14(3), 237-245. Accession Number: J39719.
Abstract: Article discussing barrier to service utilization and other problems in supported employment services for persons with psychiatric disabilities in Hong Kong. The article reviews the history of rehabilitation services for persons with psychiatric disabilities in Hong Kong, including sheltered workshops. Social barriers to supported employment services are identified, including the economic downturn, hindrance from staff, and employers' and colleagues' attitudes. Problems with supported employment services are identified, and recommendations are offered for improving service delivery.

Collins, M. E., Mowbray, C. T., Bybee, D. (2000) Characteristics predicting successful outcomes of participants with severe mental illness in supported education. Psychiatric Services, 51(6), 774-780. Accession Number: J39625.
Abstract: Study seeking to identify participant characteristics that predict success in a supported education program providing support services for persons with psychiatric disabilities in postsecondary education. Multivariate logistic regression found the strongest predictor to be productive activity at baseline. Other significant predictors included: marital status; more frequent contact with a social network; more support from social network for education; lower financial adjustment; and more problems with housework. Psychiatric disability and self-perception variables were not significant predictors of outcome.

Golomb, B. A., Pyne, J. M., Wright, B., Jaworski, B., Lohr, J. B., Bozzette, S. A. (2000) The role of psychiatrists in primary care of patients with severe mental illness. Psychiatric Services, 51(6), 766-773. Accession Number: J39530.
Abstract: Study seeking to identify health conditions for which a primary care psychiatrist would be an appropriate treatment provider in an integrated model of health care delivery for persons with serious psychiatric disabilities. A consensus panel rated whether a general psychiatrist, a primary care psychiatrist, an internist, or a medical specialist could reasonably provide evaluation, treatment, or preventive care for uncomplicated instances of physical health conditions or procedures. It was found that a primary care psychiatrist was rated as an appropriate treatment provider for most of the conditions.

Mechanic, D., McAlpine, D. D. (2000) Use of nursing homes in the care of persons with severe mental illness: 1985 to 1995. Psychiatric Services, (51)3, 354-358. Accession Number: J38782.
Abstract: Study examining changes in the number of nursing home residents with psychiatric diagnoses since the enactment of OBRA '87, which contained provisions that were expected to reduce the use of nursing homes for persons with psychiatric disabilities. Includes estimates of the number and percentage of nursing home residents over and under age 65 who were diagnosed with schizophrenia, depression, dementia, and other psychiatric disorders.

Policy Research Associates. (2000) National organizations concerned with mental health, housing, and homelessness. Accession Number: O13371.
Abstract: Resource list of federal agencies and national organizations that are concerned with mental health treatment, services, and housing needs of homeless individuals and homeless families related to mental health, general health, housing, homelessness, consumer/self-help, employment/rehabilitation, families/children, and non-profit support.

Olson, T., Anders, R. L. (2000) Ethnicity, marginalisation, and mental illness in Hawaii. Disability & Society, 15(3), 463-473. Accession Number: J39630.
Abstract: Study examining the characteristics, treatment, and care of individuals with severe and persistent psychiatric disabilities in Hawaii's largest public psychiatric facility, Hawaii State Hospital. Results indicate that the incidence of violence was significantly higher among individuals belonging to marginalized groups in Hawaii and lower among less marginalized groups. There were also significant ethnic differences in diagnoses and medication. Native Hawaiians were least likely to receive diagnoses of schizophrenia, but were close to the highest group in the likelihood of receiving anti-psychotic medication.

Torrey, W. C., Mueser, K. T., McHugo, G. H., Drake, R. E. (2000) Self-esteem as an outcome measure in studies of vocational rehabilitation for adults with severe mental illness. Psychiatric Services, 51(2), 229-233. Accession Number: J38569.
Abstract: Study examining the utility of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale as a vocational rehabilitation (VR) outcome measure for adults with severe psychiatric disabilities. Participants were assessed at baseline and later points using measures of self-esteem, symptoms, life satisfaction, work status, housing status, and total income. It was found that scores on the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale did not vary with work status or other functional outcomes, but rather were strongly related to measures of life satisfaction and affective symptoms.

Yamada, M. M., Korman, M., Hughes, C. W. (2000) Predicting rehospitalization of persons with severe mental illness. Journal of Rehabilitation, 66(2), 32-39. Accession Number: J39503.
Abstract: Study to determine predictors of rehospitalization in males and females with severe and persistent mental illness who were followed for 3-4 years after being discharged from a state hospital. Findings indicate that type of residence following discharge, number of previous hospitalizations, race, and assignment to a residential program were all predictors of length of time before rehospitalization. Severity of psychopathology, diagnosis, and degree of family support were not good predictors.

Defining Disability: Updating the REHABDATA Thesaurus

The REHABDATA Thesaurus is a key instrument in indexing the materials in the NARIC collection. The Thesaurus is a constantly evolving document which is modified and updated on a regular basis. Each month we look at a term, how it’s defined, and how it’s used in indexing rehabilitation and disability literature.

Added July 1998 to replace MENTAL ILLNESS. Psychoses, mental or emotional disorders; broad term includes any disorder which affects the mind or behavior.
Broad term: Disabilities
Narrow terms: Anxiety disorders; Autism; Behavior disorders; Depression; Emotional disorders; Schizophrenia
Related terms: Behavior modification; Emotions; Psychiatric evaluation; Psychiatry; Psychology
Use for: Mental illness; Personality disorders; Psychosis

Concerns aspects of maintaining healthy mental and emotional responses; includes mentally restored and prevention of mental illness.
Related Terms: Counseling; Emotions; Group counseling; Health care; Prevention