Charleston, South Carolina 29401


Purpose:

Homeless Veterans with substance use disorders (SUDs) are a major group served by VA and are heavily represented in VA housing. VA recently adopted a 'Housing First' approach emphasizing rapid housing placement to initiate recovery without requiring sobriety and will necessitate SUD interventions that are efficient and easily layered onto existing services. The proposed study will investigate the effectiveness, implementation process, and cost estimate of Group Motivational Interviewing (GMI) for Veterans with SUDs in VA housing (Housing Urban Development-VA Support Housing [HUD-VASH] and Grant and per Diem [GPD]). Outcomes will be assessed at multiple time points using a multi-modal approach. The ultimate goal of this research is to establish the basis of a GMI dissemination and implementation course of action for highly vulnerable homeless Veterans in VA housing for achieving their greatest success in attaining housing stability.


Study summary:

Anticipated Impacts on Veterans Health Care: VA set an ambitious goal for ending homelessness among Veterans by 2015. Housing Urban Development-VA Support Housing [HUD-VASH] and Grant and per Diem [GPD] are two primary VA housing programs to help Veterans exit homelessness. Substance abuse among Veterans in VA housing is a major risk factor for worsening psychopathology and housing instability. Despite recent adoption of a Housing First approach, many VA housing programs lack the staff infrastructure to manage substance use disorders (SUDs). This is a significant problem as 60% (conservative estimate) of Veterans in VA housing have SUDs and these Veterans show greater psychopathology compared to their counterparts without SUDs. These issues warrant substantial need for SUD programs in VA housing that are efficient to deploy, easily layered onto existing services, and require minimal staff to operate. The current study addresses this current void in VA treatment services in that it investigates the effectiveness, implementation process, and cost estimate of treatment of an adaptation of motivational interviewing, an empirically supported intervention with strong impact on reducing substance use and enhancing treatment engagement, in a group format, referred to as Group Motivational Interviewing (GMI) for Veterans with SUDs in VA housing. Data from this project, if shown to be promising, will establish the basis of a GMI dissemination and implementation course of action for highly vulnerable homeless Veterans in VA housing for achieving their greatest success in attaining housing stability. Background: There is a significant need for 'wraparound' treatment services in VA housing for addressing SUDs. Homeless Veterans with SUDs are vulnerable to treatment dropout, rendering them susceptible to relapse, while their continuation in outpatient care during their participation in VA housing leads to improved clinical outcomes. According to systematic reviews, individual motivational interviewing reduces the incidence of substance use disorders, when compared to no treatment, but is labor intensive. As VA moves toward a 'Housing First' paradigm where greater numbers of homeless Veterans will continue to use substances while in VA housing, delivery of GMI (which may be less labor intensive) to these patients will be important for initiating and maintaining their recovery as well as enhancing their psychosocial integration and quality of life. In a prior controlled trial conducted by the Principal Investigator, GMI resulted in significantly higher outpatient treatment engagement and lower substance use compared to treatment-as-usual among dually diagnosed Veterans. Objectives: Study objectives are consistent with VA housing recommendations focusing on patient recovery, health services promotion, and treatment implementation evaluation. GMI will be compared to a control treatment condition (CT) on (Specific Aim I; Five outcomes: (Primary Hypothesis 1): treatment engagement; (Primary Hypothesis 1): substance use; (Secondary H2): psychosocial integration (e.g., social support, community participation); (Secondary H3) quality of life/psychiatric indices; and (Secondary H4): number of days engaging in structured/productive work activities in the 6-month follow up. Specific Aim II involves a process evaluation for documenting (A) formative (e.g., developmental), (B) process, and (C) summative outcomes; and Specific Aim III involves estimation of cost of intervention in terms of direct costs, indirect costs of staff, costs of capital and workload measures for future implementation and dissemination research. Methods: Randomized controlled trial comparing GMI to control treatment (CT) across five critical outcomes. 186 Veterans in VA housing services (93 per treatment arm) will be enrolled with a diagnosis of alcohol or drug abuse/dependence. Recruitment will take place in Charleston VA Medical Center HUD-VASH & GPD. Participants will be randomly assigned to (1) GMI or (2) CT, each consisting of 4 sessions, and will be evaluated at 1, 3, and 6 months. Participants with a non-substance related DSM-V disorder (e.g., major depressive disorder, PTSD) will be eligible for the study. Analyses will be conducted using generalized linear mixed models (GLMM) approach. Significance to Veterans: Homeless Veterans with SUDs represent one of the largest and most chronic groups of psychiatric patients treated in the VA Healthcare System. With the ongoing execution of VA's "Plan to End Veteran Homelessness," Veterans entering housing require interventions that can be feasibly implemented with minimal reorganization of existing services. GMI is based on motivational interviewing, an empirically valid treatment that aligns with Veteran-centered recovery models including Harm Reduction and more traditional treatment philosophies. The investment in GMI for VA housing may be minimal as it requires only a few staff to operate in relatively short time (e.g., 4 sessions, 90-min each) with modest (20 hours) staff training. It can be layered onto existing services with little interruption or reorganization of staff, and it has potential to be offered to larger numbers of Veterans with SUDs in VA housing who would otherwise not receive this intervention.


Criteria:

Inclusion Criteria: - Men and women Veterans currently in Housing Urban Development-VA Support Housing [HUD-VASH] and Grant and per Diem [GPD]), newly entering the program but not yet housed, or Veterans on the HUD-VASH interest (wait) list. - Able to comprehend English. - Meets DSM-V criteria for a current substance use disorder and have used substances in the 30 days prior to treatment entry. Participants on medications targeting their substance use must be stabilized on medications for at least 2 weeks before therapy initiation. - May meet criteria a mood, anxiety or other psychiatric disorder. Participants on maintenance medications for a mood or anxiety disorder must be stabilized on medications for at least 2 weeks before therapy initiation. - Able to adequately provide informed consent and function at an intellectual level sufficient to allow accurate completion of all assessment instruments. - Willing to commit to 4 group therapy sessions, baseline, 1, 3, and 6 month follow-up assessments. Exclusion Criteria: - Active suicidal or homicidal ideation with a plan as this is likely to require hospitalization or other interventions that could interfere with study participation. - Unstable psychiatric condition that is likely to require hospitalization or other interventions that would interfere with study participation. - Unstable medical condition or one that may require hospitalization during the course of the study.


NCT ID:

NCT02233738


Primary Contact:

Principal Investigator
Elizabeth J. Santa Ana, PhD MA BA
Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, Charleston, SC

Elizabeth J Santa Ana, PhD MA BA
Phone: (843) 789-7168 ext. 7168
Email: Elizabeth.SantaAna2@va.gov


Backup Contact:

N/A


Location Contact:

Charleston, South Carolina 29401
United States

Elizabeth J Santa Ana, PhD MA BA
Phone: 843-789-7168
Email: Elizabeth.SantaAna2@va.gov

Site Status: Recruiting


Data Source: ClinicalTrials.gov

Date Processed: November 17, 2017

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