An evaluation of a community-based program for homeless adults with mental disorders and comorbid alcohol drug and mental disorders
Limited research has been conducted evaluating programs that are designed to improve the outcomes of homeless adults with mental disorders and comorbid alcohol, drug and mental disorders. This study conducted such an evaluation in a community-based day treatment setting with clients of the Harris County Mental Health and Mental Retardation Authority's Bristow Clinic. The study population included all clients who received treatment at the clinic for a minimum of six months between January 1, 1995 and August 31, 1996. An electronic database was used to identify clients and to track their program involvement. A profile was developed of the study participants and their level of program involvement included an examination of the amount of time spent in clinical, social and other interventions, the type of interventions encountered and the number of interventions encountered. Results were analyzed to determine whether social, demographic and mental history affected levels of program involvement and the effects of the levels of program involvement on housing status and psychiatric functioning status. A total of 101 clients met the inclusion criteria. Of the 101 clients, 96 had a mental disorder, and five had comorbidity. Due to the limited numbers of participants with comorbidity, only those with mental disorders were included in the analysis. The study found the Bristow Clinic population to be primarily single, Black, male, between the ages of 31 and 40 years, and with a gross family income of less than $4,000. There were more persons residing on the streets at entry and at six months following treatment than in any other residential setting. The most prevalent psychiatric diagnoses were depressive disorders and schizophrenia. The Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale which was used to determine the degree of psychiatric functioning revealed a modal GAF score of 31--40 at entry and following six months in treatment. The study found that the majority of clients spent less than 17 hours in treatment, had less than 51 encounters and had clinical, social, and other encounters. In regard to social and demographic factors and levels of program involvement, there were statistically significant associations between gender and ethnicity and the types of interventions encountered as well as the number of interventions encountered. There was also a statistically significant difference between the amount of time spent in clinical interventions and gender. Relative to outcomes measured, the study found female gender to be the only background variable that was significantly associated with improved housing status and the female gender and previous MHMRA involvement to be statistically associated with improvement in GAF score. The total time in other (not clinical or social) interventions and the total number of encounters with other interventions were also significantly associated with improvement in housing outcome. The analysis of previous services and levels of program involvement revealed significant associations between time spent in social and clinical interventions and previous hospitalizations and previous MHMRA involvement. Major limitations of this study include the small sample size which may have resulted in very little power to detect differences and the lack of generalizability of findings due to site locations used in the study. Despite these limitations, the study makes an important contribution to the literature by documenting the levels of program involvement and the social and demographic factors necessary to produce outcomes of improved housing status and psychiatric functioning status.
Public health|Psychotherapy|Mental health|Families & family life|Personal relationships|Sociology
Holmes, Venita Raye, "An evaluation of a community-based program for homeless adults with mental disorders and comorbid alcohol drug and mental disorders" (1997). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9809544.