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Residential treatment for homeless female veterans with psychiatric and substance use disorders: effect on 1-year clinical outcomes.

Harpaz-Rotem I, Rosenheck RA, Desai R. Residential treatment for homeless female veterans with psychiatric and substance use disorders: effect on 1-year clinical outcomes. Journal of rehabilitation research and development. 2012 Apr 5; 48(8):891-9.

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Abstract:

Limited evidence shows that time-limited residential treatment (RT) is beneficial for homeless people with serious mental illness. The Department of Veterans Affairs has established 11 specialty programs for homeless female veterans. We present data comparing 1-year clinical outcomes in a group of veterans who did and did not receive at least 30 days of RT. Clients of the Homeless Women Veterans Programs were invited to participate in a follow-up study. They were interviewed every 3 months for 1 year. Those who received at least 30 days of RT in the 3 months after program entry (RT group) were compared with other program participants (no or < 30 days RT [NRT] group) on measures of community functioning, psychiatric symptoms, and drug and alcohol use during the follow-up. The RT group had better outcomes on employment, social support, housing status, and psychiatric symptoms. They also had significantly increased use of drugs and alcohol compared with the NRT group. Data suggest that RT may have a beneficial effect on mental health outcomes in homeless women. This study, in conjunction with others, suggests that provision of stable housing may be an important element of recovery for homeless women with psychiatric problems, excluding substance use.





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