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Translating IPS Supported Employment to an Addiction Treatment Setting: A Feasibility Pilot

Funding Source

National Institute on Drug Abuse – Center for Technology and Behavioral Health Pilot Core

Project Period

January 2014 – December 2014

Principal Investigator

Sarah Lord, PhD

Other Project Staff

Robert Drake, PhD; Gary Bond, PhD; Justin Tauscher, MS, LADC, LCMHC (Research Assistant); Melissa Baughman, MA, MLADC, LCMHC, CCDP (Employment Specialist); Audrey Kern, MD, Addiction Psychiatrist (Consultant); Catherine Ulrich, LICSW, DHMC Addiction Treatment Program Director (Consultant)

Project Summary

Individual Placement and Support (IPS) supported employment has demonstrated robust success for improving rates of competitive employment among individuals with psychiatric disabilities (Bond, Drake & Becker, 2012). The IPS model has not been implemented in addiction treatment settings, despite its strong potential for promoting vocational support for people with primary substance use disorders. In this pilot we will evaluate the feasibility of implementation of IPS with individuals receiving treatment at the Addiction Treatment Program at Geisel School of Medicine. The project will use an innovative mobile application to collect ongoing process information about the IPS implementation process. Leveraging infrastructure resources from the Center for Supported Employment Technology, we will also evaluate perceived utility and acceptance of a craving self-management mobile application by individuals in substance use treatment seeking employment.  In a pre-post design, we will assess the potential impact of IPS on client employment outcomes, including rates of competitive employment and job tenure.  Information garnered from the project will provide rich groundwork about the feasibility, appropriateness, and fit of IPS within a substance use treatment setting to guide larger implementation projects.