The relationship between military service eras and psychosocial treatment needs among homeless veterans with a co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorder

Anna Kline, Lanora Callahan, Mark Butler, Lauren St. Hill, Miklos F. Losonczy, David A. Smelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article will examine baseline assessment data from consecutive admissions to the MISSION Program, a transitional case management program for homeless veterans, to better understand the differences across military service eras that impact the psychosocial treatment needs of homeless, mentally ill, substance-abusing veterans. In all, 373 homeless veterans with a co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse disorder received the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Diagnosis, a modified Addiction Severity Index, the BASIS-32, and a comprehensive assessment battery focusing on other psychosocial treatment needs. Chi-square analysis and ANOVA were used to measure differences in mental health, substance use, physical health status, and homelessness across service eras, broken down by Vietnam era, post-Vietnam era, and Persian Gulf/Middle East era. Persian Gulf/Middle East era veterans were significantly more likely to have mental health problems than other veteran cohorts, especially problems with post-traumatic stress disorder (p <001), and reported more days of mental health problems in the last month (p =.01). Mideast veterans also became homeless at a significantly earlier age than other veterans (p<001), were more likely to report housing instability in their families of origin (p <05) and to attribute their homelessness to mental health problems (p =.01). Service providers need to be aware of the diversity of homeless veterans' service needs by period of military service in order to develop well-targeted, effective interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-374
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Dual Diagnosis
Volume5
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Keywords

  • Era served
  • Homelessness
  • Mental health
  • Psychosocial treatment needs
  • Substance abuse
  • Veterans

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