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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Comparing community adjustment and program costs of consumers of contrasting mental health housing programs.

Author: Morrissette, David Joseph
Author Background: The Catholic U America, US
Date 7/2000
Type Dissertation
Journal Title: Dissertation-Abstracts-International:-Section-B:-The-Sciences-and-Engineering
Volume/Pages Vol 61(1-B): 188
Subject Matter Costs-and-Cost-Analysis; *Housing-; *Mental-Health-Programs; *Psychiatric-Hospitalization, Research
Abstract This two year retrospective study compared the community adjustment of 195 persons with serious mental illness who received housing services from January 1995 through December 1996 from Community Services Boards (CSB) in Virginia. CSB mental health agencies were surveyed to determine the exclusivity of the housing model employed and its fidelity to supported housing. 104 subjects were randomly selected from consumers of supported housing programs, 91 control group subjects were randomly selected from consumers of residential housing programs. Housing stability and psychiatric hospitalization represented the dependent variable, community adjustment. The study controlled for six factors represented by 20 measures: subjects' personal characteristics (age, gender, race and education); social support (marital status); clinical conditions (diagnoses of psychotic, affective and/or other Axis I disorder, substance abuse, personality disorder, mental retardation and medical conditions, psychosocial stressors; and the GAF scale); environmental conditions of each subjects dwelling (1990 Census block group data on housing value quartile, cash rent quartile, median persons per room, and mobility of residents); housing interruptions (other inpatient treatment, incarceration or homelessness), and off-site mental health services. No significant relationship was found between the type of housing model employed and the subjects, housing stability or rate of psychiatric hospitalization. However, subjects with lower residential stability consumed more off-site mental health services and experienced more frequent housing interruptions. Housing program costs were based upon the CSBs' reported per diem estimates for staffing and physical housing expenditures. For programs that provided only supportive services, physical housing costs were imputed from the median cash rent for the subject's block group. Supported housing programs demonstrated lower average costs than those of residential programs even with these imputed costs. Costs were positively related to subject's residential stability, consumption of off-site services and the housing values of the subject's block group. This study demonstrates that consumers of supported housing model maintain similar rates of community tenure and residential stability as other programs and for less cost. Further study is recommended to develop more sensitive outcome and environmental measures and to examine the long-term relationship between housing programs and community adjustment (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2000 APA, all rights reserved)