Studies of "supported" and "supportive" housing: A comprehensive review of model descriptions and measurement
Supported housing is a service model that couples provision of independent housing with provision of community-based supports for individuals with psychiatric disabilities at risk of homelessness. 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. We conducted a comprehensive review of the literature on supported housing and similarly labeled programs, to determine the degree of clarity in the supported housing model and the degree of fidelity to that model within the empirical literature, and to determine whether lack of clarity or fidelity are barriers to widespread, systematic program implementation and evaluation. We encountered a number of limitations in the literature, including conflicting use of program labels, inconsistent definitions of supported housing and its elements, and use of inadequate measurement indices in assessing adherence to program elements. Our findings 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. We present a number of recommendations for the field and suggestions for future research.
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