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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Residential Treatment for Dually Diagnosed Homeless Veterans: A Comparison of Program Types
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This study compared two types of residential programs that treat dually diagnosed homeless veterans. Programs specializing in the treatment of substance abuse disorders SA and those programs addressing both psychiatric disorders and substance abuse problems within the same setting DDX were compared on 1 program characteristics, 2 clients perceived environment, and 3 outcomes of treatment. The study was based on surveys and discharge reports from residential treatment facilities that were under contract to the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care for Homeless Veterans program, a national outreach and case management program operating at 71 sites across the nation. Program characteristics surveys were completed by program administrators, perceived environment surveys were completed by veterans in treatment, and discharge reports were completed by VA case managers. DDX programs were characterized by lower expectations for functioning, more acceptance of problem behavior, and more accommodation for choice and privacy, relative to SA programs after adjusting for baseline differences. Dually diagnosed veterans in DDX programs perceived these programs as less controlling than SA programs, but also as having lower involvement and less practical and personal problem orientations. At discharge, a lower percentage of veterans from DDX than SA programs left without staff consultation. A higher percentage of veterans from DDX than SA programs were discharged to community housing rather than to further institutional treatment. Program effects were not different for psychotic and non psychotic veterans. Although differences were modest, integration of substance abuse and psychiatric treatment may promote a faster return to community living for dually diagnosed homeless veterans. Such integration did not differentially benefit dually diagnosed veterans whose psychiatric problems included a psychotic disorder. (Authors)
Journal
1998
8
1
34-43