Aim – To examine the associations of job acquisition and loss in a representative, prospective community sample of people with schizophrenia living in the UK, France and Germany. Method – A representative sample of twelve hundred and eight people with schizophrenia were recruited from selected secondary mental health services in the U.K, France and Germany and followed up for 2 years. Information on demographic details, psychotic symptoms and work status was collected. Results – The odds of getting jobs were increased by being resident in Marseille, Leipzig, Hemer and Heilbronn and by a higher regional general population employment rate. The odds were reduced by living in Lyon, a later illness onset, a longer length of illness, a continuous illness course and more severe negative psychotic symptoms. Previous vocational training reduced the odds of losing employment, whilst living in Lyon or Leipzig, harmful use of alcohol and more positive psychotic symptoms at baseline all increased the odds. Conclusions – In addition to illness related factors, area of residence and local labour market conditions appear to be important in explaining employment status change in people with schizophrenia.
Declaration of Interest: All authors declare there are no conflicts of interest. This study was funded by grants from Lundbeck A/S and from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.