, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 29-42
Date: 19 Sep 2006

Comparing the effectiveness of different types of supported housing for patients with chronic schizophrenia

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This longitudinal study assessed the effectiveness of different types of supported housing recently established for patients with chronic schizophrenia in the East German region of Dresden. Survey data covering a 2-year period are reported for five patient subgroups (n=244) living in a psychiatric nursing home, in social therapeutic hostels, in sheltered community residential care, at home with family and alone in their own homes. Psychopathological symptoms, social disabilities, subjective quality of life, and normative individual needs for care were the relevant outcome domains assessed. For all subgroups, changes in the outcome parameters were rather small, from a clinical perspective, demonstrating deterioration, particularly for the older and more severely disabled group living in the nursing home. Results from linear variance analytical statistical models showed that group assignment played a significant role only for the baseline-controlled development of social disabilities and subjective quality of life. Contrasts between the groups outlined the disadvantage of homes and hostels in terms of subjective quality of life and the advantage of maintaining integration in family life in terms of social disabilities. These results support health policy decisions that would invest more deliberately in forms of supported housing that endeavour to improve patients’ autonomous functioning in their own flats, as well as providing assistance to families taking care of patients with chronic schizophrenia.