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Services Receipt Following Veteran Outpatients' Positive Screen for Homelessness.

Montgomery AE, Dichter ME, Thomasson AM, Roberts CB. Services Receipt Following Veteran Outpatients' Positive Screen for Homelessness. American journal of preventive medicine. 2016 Mar 1; 50(3):336-43.

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INTRODUCTION: The Veterans Health Administration seeks to reduce homelessness among Veterans by identifying, and providing prevention and supportive services to, patients with housing concerns. The objectives of this study were to assess the proportion of Veterans Health Administration patients who received homeless or social work services within 6 months of a positive screen for homelessness or risk in the Veterans Health Administration and the demographic and clinical characteristics that predicted services utilization. METHODS: Data were from a cohort of 27,403 Veteran outpatients who screened positive for homelessness or risk between November 1, 2012 and January 31, 2013. During 2013, AORs were calculated using a mixed-effects logistic regression to estimate the likelihood of patients' receipt of VHA homeless or social work services based on demographic and clinical characteristics. RESULTS: The majority of patients received services within 6 months post-screening; predictors of services utilization varied by gender. Among women, diagnosis of drug abuse and psychosis predicted receipt of services, being unmarried increased the odds of using services among those screening positive for homelessness, and a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder increased the odds of receiving services for at-risk women. Among men, being younger, unmarried, not service-connected/Medicaid-eligible, and having a medical or behavioral health condition predicted receipt of services. CONCLUSIONS: Receipt of housing support services among Veterans post-homelessness screening differs by patient demographic and clinical characteristics. Future research should investigate the role that primary and secondary prevention interventions play in Veterans' resolution of risk for homelessness and experience of homelessness.

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