A Comparison of Treatment Outcomes Among Chronically Homelessness Adults Receiving Comprehensive Housing and Health Care Services Versus Usual Local Care

College of Social Work, The Ohio State University, 325-Q Stillman Hall, 1947 College Road, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.
Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research (Impact Factor: 3.44). 11/2011; 38(6):459-75. DOI: 10.1007/s10488-011-0333-4
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Service use and 2-year treatment outcomes were compared between chronically homelessness clients receiving comprehensive housing and healthcare services through the federal Collaborative Initiative on Chronic Homelessness (CICH) program (n = 281) a sample of similarly chronically homeless individuals receiving usual care (n = 104) in the same 5 communities. CICH clients were housed an average of 23 of 90 days (52%) more than comparison group subjects averaging over all assessments over a 2-year follow-up period. CICH clients were significantly more likely to report having a usual mental health/substance abuse treater (55% vs. 23%) or a primary case manager (26% vs. 9%) and to receive community case management visits (64% vs. 14%). They reported receiving more outpatient visits for medical (2.3 vs. 1.7), mental health (2.8 vs. 1.0), substance abuse treatment (6.4 vs. 3.6), and all healthcare services (11.6 vs. 6.1) than comparison subjects. Total quarterly healthcare costs were significantly higher for CICH clients than comparison subjects ($4,544 vs. $3,326) due to increased use of outpatient mental health and substance abuse services. Although CICH clients were also more likely to receive public assistance income (80% vs. 75%), and to have a mental health/substance provider at all, they expressed slightly less satisfaction with their primary mental health/substance abuse provider (satisfaction score of 5.0 vs. 5.4). No significant differences were found between the groups on measures of substance use, community adjustment, or health status. These findings suggest that access to a well funded, comprehensive array of permanent housing, intensive case management, and healthcare services is associated with improved housing outcomes, but not substance use, health status or community adjustment outcomes, among chronically homeless adults.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES Permanent supportive housing provides safe, stable housing for people with mental and substance use disorders who are homeless or disabled. This article describes permanent supportive housing and reviews research. METHODS Authors reviewed individual studies and literature reviews from 1995 through 2012. Databases surveyed were PubMed, PsycINFO, Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts, Sociological Abstracts, Social Services Abstracts, Published International Literature on Traumatic Stress, the Educational Resources Information Center, and the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature. The authors chose from three levels of evidence (high, moderate, and low) on the basis of benchmarks for the number of studies and quality of their methodology. They also described the evidence of service effectiveness. RESULTS The level of evidence for permanent supportive housing was graded as moderate. Substantial literature, including seven randomized controlled trials, demonstrated that components of the model reduced homelessness, increased housing tenure, and decreased emergency room visits and hospitalization. Consumers consistently rated this model more positively than other housing models. Methodological flaws limited the ability to draw firm conclusions. Results were stronger for studies that compared permanent supportive housing with treatment as usual or no housing rather than with other models. CONCLUSIONS The moderate level of evidence indicates that permanent supportive housing is promising, but research is needed to clarify the model and determine the most effective elements for various subpopulations. Policy makers should consider including permanent supportive housing as a covered service for individuals with mental and substance use disorders. An evaluation component is needed to continue building its evidence base.
    Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.) 12/2013; 65(3). DOI:10.1176/ · 1.99 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is transitioning to a Housing First approach to placement of veterans in permanent supportive housing through the use of rental vouchers, an ambitious organizational transformation. This qualitative study examined the experiences of eight VA facilities undertaking this endeavor in 2012. METHODS A multidisciplinary team interviewed facility leadership, midlevel managers, and frontline staff (N=95 individuals) at eight VA facilities representing four U.S. regions. The team used a semistructured interview protocol and the constant comparative method to explore how individuals throughout the organizations experienced and responded to the challenges of transitioning to a Housing First approach. RESULTS Frontline staff faced challenges in rapidly housing homeless veterans because of difficult rental markets, the need to coordinate with local public housing authorities, and a lack of available funds for move-in costs. Staff sought to balance their time spent on housing activities with intensive case management of highly vulnerable veterans. Finding low-demand sheltering options (that is, no expectations regarding sobriety or treatment participation, as in the Housing First model) for veterans waiting for housing presented a significant challenge to implementation of Housing First. Facility leadership supported Housing First implementation through resource allocation, performance monitoring, and reliance on midlevel managers to understand and meet the challenges of implementation. CONCLUSIONS The findings highlight the considerable practical challenges and innovative solutions arising from a large-scale effort to implement Housing First, with particular attention to the experiences of individuals at all levels within an organization.
    Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.) 01/2014; 65(5). DOI:10.1176/ · 1.99 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This research sought to determine whether the implementation of Housing First in a large-scale, multi-site Canadian project for homeless participants with mental illness shows high fidelity to the Pathways Housing First model, and what factors help or hinder implementation. Fidelity ratings for 10 Housing First programs in five cities were made by an external quality assurance team along five key dimensions of Housing First based on 84 key informant interviews, 10 consumer focus groups, and 100 chart reviews. An additional 72 key informant interviews and 35 focus groups yielded qualitative data on factors that helped or hindered implementation. Overall, the findings show a high degree of fidelity to the model with more than 71% of the fidelity items being scored higher than 3 on a 4-point scale. The qualitative research found that both delivery system factors, including community and organizational capacity, and support system factors, training and technical assistance, facilitated implementation. Fidelity challenges include the availability of housing, consumer representation in program operations, and limitations to the array of services offered. Factors that accounted for these challenges include low vacancy rates, challenges of involving recently homeless people in program operations, and a lack of services in some of the communities. The study demonstrates how the combined use of fidelity assessment and qualitative methods can be used in implementation evaluation to develop and improve a program.
    Evaluation and program planning 10/2013; 43C:16-26. DOI:10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2013.10.004 · 0.89 Impact Factor