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Quality and effectiveness of supported tenancies for people with mental health problems

Centre for Psychiatry

Funding Body: National Institute for Health Research
Project Investigator: Stefan Priebe


Despite the economic cost of supported accommodation for people with mental health problems and the complex needs of those who use them there has been very little research to investigate the types of support delivered and their effectiveness [1].

The QuEST project centres on bridging the evidence gap on the quality and effectiveness of three forms of supported accommodation: Residential Care, Supported Housing, and Floating Outreach. The project aims to deliver: the first standardised quality assessment tool for supported accommodation; a detailed description of supported accommodation services across England and those who use them; evidence on clinical and cost-effectiveness of these services; detailed accounts of the experiences of the staff and service users working and living within these services; and an exploration of the feasibility of a trial to test the clinical and cost effectiveness of two models of supported accommodation.

Activities & Outputs

The first stage of the project is to adapt an existing quality assessment tool and an existing patient reported outcome measure of treatment satisfaction for mental health supported accommodation services, through review by a service user reference group, an expert panel, and focus groups with staff and service users from the three main types of supported accommodation in England: residential care, supported housing, and floating outreach.

The second stage of the project will be a survey of a nationally representative sample of 90 supported accommodation services in order to describe and compare the types of services, their costs, their users and user experiences of care, and to follow up 450 service users to identify outcomes 30 months later including whether they moved on successfully from the service.

The third stage is to carry out in-depth interviews with a subsample of service users and staff to identify the aspects of supported accommodation care they consider most useful and the challenges in providing them.

Finally the findings from the earlier stages of the project will be used to design a pilot trial comparing two existing models of supported accommodation (supported housing and floating outreach), and to determine the feasibility of conducting a definite trial in the future.

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