Comparing Service Use and Costs of Individual Placement and Support With Usual Vocational Services for Veterans With PTSD

Neil Jordan*, Kevin T. Stroupe, Joshua Richman, Terri K. Pogoda, Lishan Cao, Stefan Kertesz, Tassos C. Kyriakides, Gary R. Bond, Lori L. Davis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: Among veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), supported employment that utilizes the individual placement and support (IPS) model has resulted in consistently better employment and functional outcomes than usual vocational rehabilitation services. This study aimed to compare these two approaches in terms of health services use and associated costs. Methods: A secondary analysis of a multisite randomized controlled trial of 541 unemployed veterans with PTSD used archival data from electronic medical records to assess the use and costs of health services of IPS and usual care (i.e., a transitional work [TW] program) over 18 months. Comparisons were also made to an 18-month postintervention period. Results: The two study groups did not differ in number of inpatient days or in utilization or cost of high-intensity services. Annual per-person costs of health services were approximately 20% higher for IPS than for TW participants (mean difference5$4,910 per person per year, p,0.05) during the intervention period, largely driven by higher utilization and costs for vocational services in the IPS group (p,0.001). These costs declined postintervention to non-significant differences. The mean annual per-person vocational service cost was $6,388 for IPS and $2,549 for TW (mean difference5$3,839, p,0.001) during the intervention period. Conclusions: In keeping with IPS’s intensive case management approach, veterans receiving IPS used more vocational services and had correspondingly higher costs than veterans receiving TW. The two groups did not differ in use or cost of other types of health services. Future research should examine whether higher short-term costs associated with IPS relative to usual care result in long-term cost savings or higher quality of life for persons with PTSD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1109-1116
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatric Services
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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