Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 48, Issue 6, pp 875–894

A domains-based taxonomy of supported accommodation for people with severe and persistent mental illness

  • Dan Siskind
  • Meredith Harris
  • Jane Pirkis
  • Harvey Whiteford
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00127-012-0590-x

Cite this article as:
Siskind, D., Harris, M., Pirkis, J. et al. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol (2013) 48: 875. doi:10.1007/s00127-012-0590-x



A lack of definitional clarity in supported accommodation and the absence of a widely accepted system for classifying supported accommodation models creates barriers to service planning and evaluation.


We undertook a systematic review of existing supported accommodation classification systems. Using a structured system for qualitative data analysis, we reviewed the stratification features in these classification systems, identified the key elements of supported accommodation and arranged them into domains and dimensions to create a new taxonomy. The existing classification systems were mapped onto the new taxonomy to verify the domains and dimensions.


Existing classification systems used either a service-level characteristic or programmatic approach. We proposed a taxonomy based around four domains: duration of tenure; patient characteristics; housing characteristics; and service characteristics. All of the domains in the taxonomy were drawn from the existing classification structures; however, none of the existing classification structures covered all of the domains in the taxonomy.


Existing classification systems are regionally based, limited in scope and lack flexibility. A domains-based taxonomy can allow more accurate description of supported accommodation services, aid in identifying the service elements likely to improve outcomes for specific patient populations, and assist in service planning.


Supported accommodation Mental illness Health services Community mental health Literature review 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dan Siskind
    • 1
    • 2
  • Meredith Harris
    • 1
  • Jane Pirkis
    • 3
  • Harvey Whiteford
    • 1
  1. 1.Policy and Evaluation Group, Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, The Park-Centre for Mental Health, School of Population HealthUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Metro South Division of Mental HealthBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Centre for Health Policy, Programs and Economics, School of Population HealthUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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