Implementation of the Individual Placement and Support approach for people with mental illness – a systematic review of facilitators and barriers

Inge Storgaard Bonfils, Henrik Hansen, Helle Stentoft Dalum, Lene Falgaard Eplov

Research output: Contribution to conference without a publisher/journalPosterResearch


The Individual Placement and Support – IPS approach has become a widely recognized evidence-based practice to increase work for people with severe mental illness. IPS is based on a core set of principles namely (a) the goal is competitive employment in work settings integrated into a community’s economy; (b) services are based on clients’ choices; (c) clients are expected to obtain jobs directly, rather than following lengthy pre-employment training (rapid jobsearch); (d) attention to the clients’ preference in the job search; (e)integration between employment services and mental health treatment team (f) ongoing individual support; and (g) systematic benefits counselling.

Objective: The aim of this study is to identify and evaluate research on implementation of IPS; which factors act as facilitators and which as barriers when implementing IPS and which methods and theories are used to examine the implementation process.

Methods: A systematic review was conducted of factors influencing IPS implementation. Papers published from 1996 to October 2013 were searched for in fourteen electronic databases. Altogether 272 references were identified in the databases, and 25 papers based on primary studies, reports/evaluations and reviews included in the review.

Results: Factors influencing the implementation process exist on the contextual, local organizational, cooperation/team and individual level. There is an inherent interdependency between various factors. Key element is the use of fidelity scale and skilled local leadership and IPS specialist. A general awareness towards how attitudes, values and institutional logics influence the implementation process is needed to change the systems logic from a “caring perspective” towards a” rehabilitation approach”.

Conclusion: Existing research points to how multiple factors influence IPS implementation on different levels. We suggest that further studies could be made from a comparative approach and look into how contextual settings such as the welfare system influence IPS implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date7 May 2015
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2015

Cite this