Mental Disorders and Work Integration: A Retrospective Study in a Northern Italian Town

Chiara Buizza 1, *, Rosaria Pioli 2, Sara Lecchi 2, Chiara Bonetto 3, Anna Bartoli 4, Renzo Taglietti 4, Alberto Ghilardi 1, Eugenio Riva 5
1 Unit of Dynamic and Clinic Psychology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia, It-aly
2 IRCCS “St. John of God” Fatebenefratelli, Brescia, Italy
3 Department of Medicine and Public Health, University of Verona, Italy
4 Local Health Authority of Brescia, Italy
5 U.R.A.Sa.M Lombardy, Milan, Italy

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© Buizza et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Unit of Dynamic and Clinic Psychology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia, Viale Europa 11, 25123 Brescia, Italy; Tel: +39 030 3717429; Fax: +39 030 3717207; E-mail:



The present study was conducted in a vocational integration service of a northern Italian town with two major aims: to assess vocational integration programs undertaken from 1st January 2004 to 1st January 2007; and to identify job tenure-associated predictors.


This is a retrospective study; we collected data such as gender, age, duration, type and outcome of the vocational integration program, and number of interventions performed by the vocational integration service. Self-report questionnaires were also used to assess the satisfaction of users, caregivers, practitioners, and of the company contacts involved in the study.


The service has enrolled 84 users during the observation period. Out of these users, 64.3% of them still had their jobs after three years. Users, caregivers and company contacts expressed high levels of satisfaction for the support received by the vocational integration service. The company expressed less satisfaction for the collaboration received by the Departments of Mental Health (DMHs) that coached the users. The only variable associated to the outcome was the number of interventions that the users received before their placement on the job.


Despite all the limits of this study, its results show that the chance of taking advantage of a supported job placement service has likely proven itself effective in helping people with mental disorders to obtain and maintain a competitive employment. Our results, however, also point to the necessity of implementing newer strategies meant to develop a greater integration among all services dealing with mentally ill people.

Keywords: Mental disorders, outpatients, retrospective study, job tenure, satisfaction, vocational integration.