Absence of conflict of interest
- The study’s objective was to examine the impact of Work-Related Social Skills Training (WRSST) on self-efficacy and work motivation.
- The study was a randomized control trial using pre and posttest surveys to compare work motivation outcomes for individuals who did and did not participate in the WRSST program offered to individuals at an inpatient psychiatric care facility with serious mental illnesses (SMI).
- The study did not find any statistically significant effects of WRSST on work motivation.
- The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is high because it was based on a well-implemented randomized controlled trial. This means we would be confident that any estimated effects would be attributable to WRSST and not to other factors. However, the study did not find statistically significant effects.
Work-Related Social Skills Training (WRSST)
Features of the Intervention
The WRSST program is a prevocational seminar developed by Tsang and Pearson to enhance participants’ social skills and better prepare them for employment. The program uses role play and other forms or real-life practice to help instill social skills. WRSST traditionally consists of 10 weekly sessions each lasting for a 1.5-to-two-hour period. However, due to timing constraints imposed by the psychiatric facility, the program was modified to be delivered over a single week with five 1.5-hour sessions.
Features of the Study
The study was a randomized control trial that assigned 23 individuals residing in a psychiatric hospital to either participate in the WRSST program or a control group. To be eligible for the study, individuals had to be managing their mental illness symptoms sufficiently and had to consent to complete two self-report surveys: the General Self-Efficacy scale and the Work Motivation Scale (including a subscale measuring work values and a subscale measuring work motives). The final analysis sample included 10 control group participants and 11 WRSST participants. Study participants were between the ages of 21 and 68, 62% were female, 57% were African American, and 90% were currently unemployed.
- There was no significant difference in work motivation (in terms of work values or work motives) between the control and intervention groups.
Considerations for Interpreting the Findings
The WRSST program is traditionally delivered over 10 weekly sessions each lasting between 1.5—2 hours. In this study, however, the program was modified to be delivered in a one-week period with five sessions each lasting 1.5 hours. Additionally, participants in the study were residing in the same hospital and were free to communicate with one another about the activities they were participating in. This may have resulted in some diffusion of treatment and combined with the compressed program delivery and small sample sizes may have contributed to the null findings observed in the study.
Causal Evidence Rating
The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is high because it was based on a well-implemented randomized controlled trial. This means we would be confident that any estimated effects would be attributable to WRSST and not to other factors. However, the study did not find statistically significant effects.