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Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2011 Nov;57(6):619-26. doi: 10.1177/0020764010382367. Epub 2010 Sep 14.

Outcomes for street children and youth under multidisciplinary care in a drop-in centre in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

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  • 1Médecins Sans Frontières, Geneva, Switzerland.



There is little evidence to describe the feasibility and outcomes of services for the care of street children and youth in low-income countries.


To describe the outcomes of a multidisciplinary case management approach delivered in a drop-in centre for street children and youth.


A longitudinal study of street children and youth followed in an urban drop-in centre. Four hundred (400) street children and youth received a multidisciplinary case management therapeutic package based on the community reinforcement approach. The main outcomes were changes in psychological distress, substance abuse and social situation scores.


The median follow-up time for the cohort was 18 months. There were reductions in the levels of psychological distress (p = 0.0001) and substance abuse (p ≤ 0.0001) in the cohort as well as an improvement in the social situation of street children and youth (p = 0.0001). There was a main effect of gender (p < 0.001) and a significant interaction of gender over time (p < 0.001) on improvements in levels of psychological distress. Survival analysis showed that the probability of remaining on substances at 12 months was 0.76 (95% CI: 0.69-0.81) and 0.51 (95% CI: 0.42-0.59) at 24 months. At 12 months, fewer female patients remained using substances compared to male (p < 0.01).


To be most effective, programmes and strategies for children and youth in street situations in developing countries should target both their health and social needs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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