Article

Decreasing Psychiatric Symptoms by Increasing Choice in Services for Adults with Histories of Homelessness

The City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, NY, USA.
American Journal of Community Psychology (Impact Factor: 1.74). 01/2006; 36(3-4):223-38. DOI: 10.1007/s10464-005-8617-z
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Despite the increase in consumer-driven interventions for homeless and mentally ill individuals, there is little evidence that these programs enhance psychological outcomes. This study followed 197 homeless and mentally ill adults who were randomized into one of two conditions: a consumer-driven "Housing First" program or "treatment as usual" requiring psychiatric treatment and sobriety before housing. Proportion of time homeless, perceived choice, mastery, and psychiatric symptoms were measured at six time points. Results indicate a direct relationship between Housing First and decreased homelessness and increased perceived choice; the effect of choice on psychiatric symptoms was partially mediated by mastery. The strong and inverse relationship between perceived choice and psychiatric symptoms supports expansion of programs that increase consumer choice, thereby enhancing mastery and decreasing psychiatric symptoms.

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    ABSTRACT: The rental of housing units by landlords to participants in Housing First (HF) programs is critical to the success of these programs. Therefore, it is important to understand the experiences of landlords with having these individuals as tenants. The paper presents findings of qualitative interviews with 23 landlords who rented to tenants from a HF program located in a small city and adjoining rural area in eastern Canada and in which approximately 75 % of tenants had been housed for at least six consecutive months at 2 years in the program. Findings showed that landlords are motivated to rent to HF tenants for financial and pro-social reasons. They reported holding a range of positive, neutral, and negative perceptions of these tenants. They identified problems encountered with some HF tenants that included disruptive visitors, conflict with other tenants, constant presence in their apartments, and poor upkeep of units. On the other hand, landlords perceived HF tenants as being mostly good tenants who are similar to their other tenants. Implications for practice in the context of HF programs are discussed.
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    ABSTRACT: Scattered-site housing with Intensive Case Management (ICM) may be an appropriate and less-costly option for homeless adults with mental illness who do not require the treatment intensity of Assertive Community Treatment. To examine the effect of scattered-site housing with ICM services on housing stability and generic quality of life among homeless adults with mental illness and moderate support needs for mental health services. The At Home/Chez Soi project was an unblinded, randomized trial. From October 2009 to July 2011, participants (N = 1198) were recruited in 4 Canadian cities (Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, and Montreal), randomized to the intervention group (n = 689) or usual care group (n = 509), and followed up for 24 months. The intervention consisted of scattered-site housing (using rent supplements) and off-site ICM services. The usual care group had access to existing housing and support services in their communities. The primary outcome was the percentage of days stably housed during the 24-month period following randomization. The secondary outcome was generic quality of life, assessed by a EuroQoL 5 Dimensions (EQ-5D) health questionnaire. During the 24 months after randomization, the adjusted percentage of days stably housed was higher among the intervention group than the usual care group, although adjusted mean differences varied across sites. [table: see text] The mean change in EQ-5D score from baseline to 24 months among the intervention group was not statistically different from the usual care group (60.5 [95%CI, 58.6 to 62.5] at baseline and 67.2 [95%CI, 65.2 to 69.1] at 24 months for the intervention group vs 62.1 [95% CI, 59.9 to 64.4] at baseline and 68.6 [95%CI, 66.3 to 71.0] at 24 months for the usual care group, difference in mean changes, 0.10 [95%CI, −2.92 to 3.13], P=.95). Among homeless adults with mental illness in 4 Canadian cities, scattered site housing with ICM services compared with usual access to existing housing and community services resulted in increased housing stability over 24 months, but did not improve generic quality of life. isrctn.org Identifier: ISRCTN42520374.

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May 23, 2014

Ronni Michelle Greenwood