Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 48 Number 8, 2011
   Pages 891 — 900

Abstract —  Residential treatment for homeless female veterans with psychiatric and substance use disorders: Effect on 1-year clinical outcomes

Ilan Harpaz-Rotem, PhD;1-2* Robert A. Rosenheck, MD;2-3 Rani Desai, PhD, MPH2,4

1Clinical Neurosciences Division, National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT; 2Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; 3New England Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center, VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT; 4Northeast Program Evaluation Center, VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT

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.

Key words: alcohol, drug, female, homeless, mental health, psychiatric symptoms, PTSD, rehabilitation, residential treatment, veterans.


View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 48, No. 8
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
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. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2011;48(8):891-900.
DOI:10.1682/JRRD.2010.10.0195
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Last Reviewed or Updated  Friday, October 14, 2011 9:47 AM

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