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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 37 (1995) 5

New research

The working of De Schalm; evaluation of a vocational rehabilitation programme

H.W.C. Michon, J. van Weeghel

This study concerns the participants, characteristics and outcomes of the vocational rehabilitation programme of De Schalm in Haarlem. The participants, of whom 80% were (former) mental patients, had several work disabilities, which were measured by a standardized work skills instrument. The most frequent work problems were slowness in performing work tasks, showing too little initiative and a lack of self-confidence. Two thirds of all the 78 former participants were successful in their career after leaving the programme of De Schalm: they had a paid job, were doing voluntary work or received vocational schooling. Their success most strongly correlated with a good working performance in the programme of De Schalm, autonomous living, satisfaction in their daily activities and the absence of serious psychiatric problems. Surprisingly, work history was a poor predictor of vocational success after the Schalm period. These outcomes were compared to other research findings concerning the vocational careers of (former) mental patients. The article ends with some remarks on studying the effectiveness of vocational rehabilitation projects and recommendations for improving the programme of De Schalm.