Engagement and retention in services among formerly homeless adults with co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse: Voices from the margins

Deborah K. Padgett, Ben Henwood, Courtney Abrams, Andrew Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This qualitative study analyzed 72 interviews with 39 formerly homeless psychiatric consumers to develop a grounded theory model of engagement and retention in mental health and substance abuse services. Person-centered themes included severity of mental illness and substance abuse (the latter also conflicting with programmatic abstinence requirements). System-related themes inhibiting service use included program rules and restrictions and a lack of one-on-one therapy. Those promoting service use were acts of kindness by staff, pleasant surroundings, and the promise (or attainment) of independent housing. Implications of these findings are discussed in terms of integrating consumers' opinions about services to enhance treatment engagement and retention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-233
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatric Rehabilitation Journal
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2008

Keywords

  • Homeless
  • Service utilization
  • Severe mental illness
  • Substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Rehabilitation
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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