Virtual reality job interview training and 6-month employment outcomes for individuals with substance use disorders seeking employment

Matthew J. Smith*, Morris D. Bell, Michael A. Wright, Laura B. Humm, Dale Olsen, Michael F. Fleming

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Individuals with substance use disorders (SUDs) have low employment rates and job interviewing is a critical barrier to employment for them. Virtual reality training is efficacious at improving interview skills and vocational outcomes for several clinical populations. OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated the acceptability and efficacy of virtual reality job interview training (VR-JIT) at improving interview skills and vocational outcomes among individuals with SUDs via a small randomized controlled trial (n = 14 VR-JIT trainees, n = 11 treatment-as-usual (TAU) controls). METHODS: Trainees completed up to 10 hours of virtual interviews, while controls received services as usual. Primary outcome measures included two pre-test and two post-test video-recorded role-play interviews and vocational outcomes at six-month follow-up. RESULTS: Trainees reported that the intervention was easy-to-use and helped prepared them for future interviews. While co-varying for pre-test role-play performance, trainees had higher post-test role-play scores than controls at the trend level (p < 0.10). At 6-month follow-up, trainees were more likely than controls to attain a competitive position (78.6% vs. 44.4%, p < 0.05, respectively). Trainees had greater odds of attaining a competitive position by 6 month follow-up compared to controls (OR: 5.67, p < 0.05). VR-JIT participation was associated with fewer weeks searching for a position (r =-0.36, p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: There is preliminary evidence that VR-JIT is acceptable to trainees with SUDs. Moreover, VR-JIT led to better vocational outcomes with trainees having greater odds of attaining a competitive position by 6-month follow-up. Future studies could evaluate the effectiveness of VR-JIT within community-based services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-332
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Volume44
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 7 2016

Keywords

  • Substance use disorders
  • job interview skills
  • virtual reality training
  • vocational outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Occupational Therapy

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