This study was the first of its kind to study the effectiveness of any type of vocational rehabilitation (VR) intervention after a spinal cord injury, and it found that veterans who were provided supported employment were 2.5 times more likely than veterans in the treatment as usual-interventional site (TAU-IS) group and 11.4 times more likely than the treatment as usual-observational site (TAU-OS) group to obtain competitive employment. In practice, veterans seeking employment should enroll in a supported employment program at their local VA. In policy, the VA might recommend that veterans with SCI participate in SE soon after they have begun recovering from the injury. Suggestions for future study include broadening the study population to include veterans not receiving services at a VA, as well as evaluate revising the definition of employment (job paying minimum wage or higher) and expand geographic regions to ensure a sample that is representative of veterans across the US.

Original Citation

Ottomanelli, L., Goetz, L. L., Suris, A., McGeough, C., Sinnott, P. L., Toscano, R., Barnett, S. D., Cipher, D. J., Lind, L. M., Dixon, T. M., Holmes, S. A., Kerrigan, A. J., & Thomas, F. P. (2012). Effectiveness of supported employment for veterans with spinal cord injuries: Results from a randomized multisite study. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 93(5), 740–747.

Document Type



Disability Studies | Military and Veterans Studies | Rehabilitation and Therapy | Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling


2 pages




Supported employment, Rehabilitation, Vocational rehabilitation, Spinal cord injuries, Veterans


Veterans; People with disabilities--Employment; Disabled veterans--Vocational rehabilitation--United States; Spinal cord--Wounds and injuries

Geographic Area

United States


Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University





Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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