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    In health and social service evaluations, including research on homelessness, quality of Life (QOL) is often used as a key indicator of well-being among service users. However, no typology has been developed on changes in QOL over a 12-month period for a heterogenous sample of homeless individuals. Cluster analysis was employed to identify a typology of change in QOL for 270 currently or formerly homeless individuals using emergency shelters, temporary housing (TH) and permanent housing (PH) services in Quebec (Canada). Participant interviews were conducted at baseline and 12 months later. An adapted Gelberg-Andersen Model helped organize QOL-related sociodemographic, clinical, and service use variables into predisposing, needs, and enabling factors, respectively. Comparison analyses were performed to determine group differences. Four groups emerged from the analyses: (1) young women in stable-PH or improved housing status with moderately high needs and specialized ambulatory care service use, with improved QOL over 12 months; (2) middle-age to older men with stable housing status, few needs and low acute care service use, with most improvement in QOL over 12 months; (3) older individuals residing in stable-PH or improved housing status with very high needs and reduced QOL over 12 months; and (4) men in stable-TH or worse housing status, with high substance use disorder, using few specialized ambulatory care services and showing decline in QOL over 12 months. Findings suggest that positive change in QOL over 12 months was mainly associated with fewer needs, and stability in housing status more than housing improvement. Specific recommendations, such as assertive community treatment and harm reduction programs, should be prioritized for individuals with high needs or poor housing status, and among those experiencing difficulties related to QOL, whereas individuals with more favourable profiles could be encouraged to maintain stable housing and use services proportional to their needs.

    Citation

    Gesthika Kaltsidis, Guy Grenier, Zhirong Cao, Nadia L'Espérance, Marie-Josée Fleury. Typology of changes in quality of life over 12 months among currently or formerly homeless individuals using different housing services in Quebec, Canada. Health and quality of life outcomes. 2021 Apr 21;19(1):128

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    PMID: 33882927

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