Studies of "supported" and "supportive" housing: A comprehensive review of model descriptions and measurement

For individuals with mental disorders and at risk of homelessness, supported housing is a service model that pairs provision of independent housing with provision of community-based supports. Despite its promise as an alternative to traditional sequential residential rehabilitation programs, supported housing has not been evaluated to an extent that supports firm conclusions concerning the efficacy of specific program elements. This comprehenesive review of the literature on supported housing and similarly labeled programs, helps to determine the degree of clarity in the supported housing model and the degree of dependibility to that model within the empirical literature. This review also aims to determine whether lack of clarity or dependibility are barriers to widespread, systematic program implementation and evaluation. The authors encountered a number of limitations in the literature, including different usage of program names, inconsistent definitions of supported housing and its elements, and use of inadequate measurement indices in assessing adherence to program elements. The findings of this review suggest that greater model clarity, better specification of model elements, and greater standardization in measurement of program dimensions would aid in supported housing program implementation and evaluation. The authors present a number of recommendations for the field and suggestions for future research.

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Evaluation and Program Planning