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Evaluating the impact of a critical time intervention adaptation on health care utilization among homeless adults with mental health needs in a large urban center

Reid N, Mason J, Kurdyak P, Nisenbaum R, de Oliveira C, Hwang S, Stergiopoulos V. Can J Psychiatry. 2021; Feb 22 [Epub ahead of print]. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0706743721996114


Objective — This study evaluated the impact of a critical time intervention (CTI) adaptation on health care utilization outcomes among adults experiencing homelessness and mental health needs in a large urban center.

Methods — Provincial population-based administrative data from Ontario, Canada, were used in a pre-post design for a cohort of 197 individuals who received the intervention between January 2013 and May 2014 and were matched to a cohort of adults experiencing homelessness who did not receive the intervention over the same time period. Changes in health care utilization outcomes in the year pre- and postintervention were evaluated using generalized estimating equations, and post hoc analyses evaluated differences between groups.

Results — Pre-post analyses revealed statistically significant changes in health care utilization patterns among intervention recipients, including reduced inpatient service use and increased outpatient service use in the year following the intervention compared to the year prior. However, the matched cohort analysis found nonsignificant differences in health service use changes between a subgroup of intervention recipients and their matched counterparts.

Conclusions — An adapted CTI model was associated with changes in health care utilization among people experiencing homelessness and mental health needs. However, changes were not different from those observed in a matched cohort. Rigorous study designs with adequate samples are needed to examine the effectiveness of CTI and local adaptations in diverse health care contexts.

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