Job profiles of people with severe mental illness: Implications for rehabilitation

Wing Hong Hector Tsang, Bacon F.L. Ng, Frank P.F. Chiu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Employment history is known to be a consistent predictor of vocational functioning of people with mental illness. A review of the literature, however, shows that studies that describe the employment pattern of those with psychiatric disabilities are limited. This study aimed to explore the employment histories and job profiles of people with severe mental illness in the Special Administrative Region of the Chinese Mainland: Hong Kong. The participants consisted of 64 patients (46 men and 18 women) recruited from two mental hospitals. A specially designed and validated instrument (work history record sheet) was used to collect data including medical history, educational and training background and employment information of the participants for the past 5 years. Some results were consistent with previous findings. All participants had a work history and had roughly 2 years of employment in a job; most of the jobs were in low-wage and low-prestige positions. In addition, interpersonal competence was of paramount importance for getting and keeping jobs. Some findings are different from earlier studies. For instance, most of the jobs were full time. The ways that people secured their jobs were not the same as in Western studies. Possible cultural differences leading to different findings and implications for rehabilitation services are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-196
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Rehabilitation Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002


  • Job profiles
  • Mental illness
  • Vocational rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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