Aim: The goal o( the paper was to elaborate and characterise the problem of occupational rehabilitation of schizophrenic patients.
Review: The description of conditions of the development of theory and practice of this particular form of rehabilitation is a result of integration of the general theory, methodology and principles of psychiatric rehabilitation with the specific problem of social and occupational integration of the mentally ill diagnosed with schizophrenia. In order to attain the so-formulated goal an analysis of theoretical issues was carried out, as well as an analysis of empirical studies indicating the key role of mentally ill persons' employment in the rehabilitation practice. In the review a particular attention was paid to the theory underpinning the integrated model of rehabilitation proposed by Dörner; to the Cook and Razzano concept of occupational activation of the mentally ill, the model of supported employment promoted by Bond, and a number of studies into the employment of patients with schizophrenia.
Conclusions: The essence of the contemporary approach to occupational rehabilitation of people suffering from schizophrenia consists in ensuring their right to employment and in shaping their workplace so that they would be capable of performing their job. Apart from their disease, unemployment is the crucial factor leading in these patients to a loss of motivation to change their life situation and contributing to their social isolation. An important task in occupational rehabilitation is to promote and support special projects of work and employment (so-called "social businesses"). The latter are created by nongovernment organisations whose aim is to propagate socio-economic integration of the mentally ill. The development of socio-economic projects of the "third sector" in this light becomes a social movement that is, or should be, characterised by embedding in the community, striving to provide mutual support, and by voluntary participation. The function of such activity includes also the maintenance of the community's integrity by stimulating development and supporting every manifestation of interpersonal help.