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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing
3014.0: Monday, November 05, 2007 - 9:10 AM

Abstract #150253

Family and aftercare model: A comprehensive treatment program for homeless families

JoAnn Y. Sacks, PhD, CIRP (Center for the Integration of Research & Practice), NDRI (National Development & Research Institutes, Inc.), 71 W 23 Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10010, 212.845.4648, jysacks@mac.com

The links between substance abuse, co-occurring psychiatric disorders, trauma, and homelessness have been the focus of recent research on the treatment of women. This study compares two interventions designed for the complex population of mothers (N=283), who are currently head of household, have a substance abuse disorder with co-occurring homelessness and, for a large proportion, mental health symptoms. The Experimental (E) program provides comprehensive, modified therapeutic community (MTC) residential treatment services enhanced with a trauma-specific intervention and Housing Case Management. The Comparison (C) program consists of a standard MTC without the added trauma and housing enhancements. The women bring up to 2 of their children into treatment with them. The intervention is planned for 4-6 months of residential treatment.

The study employs a quasi-experimental, non-equivalent control group design with prospective, longitudinal, repeated measures, intent-to-treat analyses, and four data points: baseline (at treatment entry), and 3-, 9-, and 15-months post-baseline. This presentation reports on the profiles of the women entering treatment and notes that, although referred for substance abuse treatment, the mothers were found, on treatment entry, to have serious co-occurring mental health and trauma symptoms. The presentation also and discusses study outcomes for this complex population.

The study contributes to our understanding of the treatment needs and treatment responsiveness of homeless women with serious co-occurring disorders. It also advances research through a rigorous study of the enhanced MTC program effectiveness compared to standard MTC treatment and has implications for breaking the cycle of poverty, homelessness, and substance abuse.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Design and Evaluation of Interventions for Specific Populations (e.g., runaway homeless youth, individuals with mental illness, substance abuse disorders)

The 135th APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 3-7, 2007) of APHA