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Am J Public Health. 1997 Feb;87(2):256-62.

Preventing recurrent homelessness among mentally ill men: a "critical time" intervention after discharge from a shelter.

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  • 1Columbia University Schools of Medicine and Public Health, New York State Psychiatric Institute, NY 10032, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study examined a strategy to prevent homelessness among individuals with severe mental illness by providing a bridge between institutional and community care.

METHODS:

Ninety-six men with severe mental illness who were entering community housing from a shelter institution were randomized to receive 9 months of a "critical time" intervention plus usual services or usual services only. The primary analysis compared the mean number of homeless nights for the two groups during the 18-month follow-up period. To elucidate time trends, survival curves were used.

RESULTS:

Over the 18-month follow-up period, the average number of homeless nights was 30 for the critical time intervention group and 91 for the usual services group. Survival curves showed that after the 9-month period of active intervention, the difference between the two groups did not diminish.

CONCLUSIONS:

Strategies that focus on a critical time of transition may contribute to the prevention of recurrent homelessness among individuals with mental illness, even after the period of active intervention.

Comment in

PMID:
9103106
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1380803
Free PMC Article
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