, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 251-259

The Participation of Families of Homeless Personswith Severe Mental Illness in an OutreachIntervention

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Abstract

Objectives: This study describes how anAssertive Community Treatment (ACT) team which employsa family outreach worker (FOW) interacts with homelesspersons with severe mental illness and their families. Methods: The team's ratings of thefrequency and importance of clients' and treatmentteam's family contact are summarized and compared withindependent research reports on patients' satisfactionwith family relations, housing and hospitalizationoutcomes. Results: 73% of clients had contact with theirfamilies. ACT worked with families of 61% of clients.ACT had less contact with the families of men (p <.01) and substance abusers (p. < 01). Client daysin stable housing were associated with increased ACTfamily contact (p < .05). Conclusions: Most ACTclients had significant family contact. ACT establishedcontact with most families, and the work with familiesappeared to be associated with higher levels ofsatisfaction with family relations and housing. The roleof the FOW should be explored further.