A Multiple-City RCT of Housing First With Assertive Community Treatment for Homeless Canadians With Serious Mental Illness.

TitleA Multiple-City RCT of Housing First With Assertive Community Treatment for Homeless Canadians With Serious Mental Illness.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsAubry T, Goering P, Veldhuizen S, Adair CE, Bourque J, Distasio J, Latimer E, Stergiopoulos V, Somers J, Streiner DL, Tsemberis S
JournalPsychiatr Serv
Date Published2016 Mar
KeywordsAdult, Canada, Case Management, Community Mental Health Services, Female, Homeless Persons, Housing, Humans, Linear Models, Male, Mental Disorders, Middle Aged, Quality of Life

OBJECTIVE: Housing First with assertive community treatment (ACT) is a promising approach to assist people with serious mental illness to exit homelessness. The article presents two-year findings from a multisite trial on the effectiveness of Housing First with ACT.METHODS: The study design was a randomized controlled trial conducted in five Canadian cities. A sample of 950 participants with serious mental illness who were absolutely homeless or precariously housed were randomly assigned to receive either Housing First with ACT (N=469) or treatment as usual (N=481).RESULTS: Housing First participants spent more time in stable housing than participants in treatment as usual (71% versus 29%, adjusted absolute difference [AAD]=42%, p<.01). Compared with treatment-as-usual participants, Housing First participants who entered housing did so more quickly (73 versus 220 days, AAD=146.4, p<.001), had longer housing tenures at the study end-point (281 versus 115 days, AAD=161.8, p<.01), and rated the quality of their housing more positively (adjusted standardized mean difference [ASMD]=.17, p<.01). Housing First participants reported higher quality of life (ASMD=.15, p<.01) and were assessed as having better community functioning (ASMD=.18, p<.01) over the two-year period. Housing First participants showed significantly greater gains in community functioning and quality of life in the first year; however, differences between the two groups were attenuated by the end of the second year.CONCLUSIONS: Housing First with ACT is an effective approach in various contexts for assisting individuals with serious mental illness to rapidly exit homelessness.

Alternate JournalPsychiatr Serv
PubMed ID26620289

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