Background: Permanent supportive housing (PSH)—subsidized housing paired with support services such as case management—is a key part of national strategic plans to end homelessness. PSH tenants face high overdose risk due to a confluence of individual and environmental risk factors, yet little research has examined overdose prevention in PSH. Methods: We describe the protocol for a hybrid type 3 stepped-wedge cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) of overdose prevention practice implementation in PSH. We adapted evidence-based overdose prevention practices and implementation strategies for PSH using input from stakeholder focus groups. The trial will include 20 PSH buildings (with building size ranging from 20 to over 150 tenants) across New York City and New York’s Capital Region. Buildings will be randomized to one of four 6-month intervention waves during which they will receive a package of implementation support including training in using a PSH Overdose Prevention (POP) Toolkit, time-limited practice facilitation, and learning collaboratives delivered to staff and tenant implementation champions appointed by each building. The primary outcome is building-level fidelity to a defined list of overdose prevention practices. Secondary and exploratory implementation and effectiveness outcomes will be examined using PSH staff and tenant survey questionnaires, and analysis of tenant Medicaid data. We will explore factors related to implementation success, including barriers and facilitators, using qualitative interviews with key stakeholders. The project is being conducted through an academic-community partnership, and an Advisory Board including PSH tenants and other key stakeholders will be engaged in all stages of the project. Discussion: We describe the protocol for a hybrid type 3 stepped-wedge cluster RCT of overdose prevention practice implementation in PSH. This study will be the first controlled trial of overdose prevention implementation in PSH settings. The research will make a significant impact by testing and informing future implementation strategies to prevent overdose for a population at particularly high risk for overdose mortality. Findings from this PSH-focused research are expected to be broadly applicable to other housing settings and settings serving people experiencing homelessness. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT05786222 , registered 27 March 2023.
- Implementation study
- Stepped-wedge cluster randomized controlled trial
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Health Informatics
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health