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The European Journal of Psychiatry

versión impresa ISSN 0213-6163


TAYLOR, Helen; STUTTAFORD, Maria  y  VOSTANIS, Panos. Short-term outcome of young homeless people in contact with a designated mental health service. Eur. J. Psychiat. [online]. 2007, vol.21, n.4, pp.268-278. ISSN 0213-6163.

Background and Objectives: Young homeless people have high rates of psychiatric disorders and related complex needs. However, they often find it difficult to access mainstream mental health services. The aim of this study was to establish the short-term clinical outcome of young homeless people in contact with a designated mental health service, and whether this is predicted by variables in young people´s profiles. Methods: A designated mental health service was provided across five areas covering 18 shelters for young homeless people aged 16-25 years. Data on 150 consecutively referred young people, included the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS), a risk assessment, and a service checklist at referral and final service contact. Results: Young people reported a range of previous adversities and service contacts, and high HoNOS and risk scores. There was significant improvement on most HoNOS items for those who attended more than one session, but only one risk behaviour (self-harm) significantly decreased. Previous experience of mental health problems and agreed completion of treatment predicted better clinical outcome. Conclusions: Despite their multiple and complex mental health needs, at least a proportion of young homeless people, can engage and benefit from their contact with a designated mental health service. The HoNOS could be a useful clinical tool for similar community teams.

Palabras clave : Homeless; Young people; Outcome; Mental health; Services; HoNOS.

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