The Effects of Housing on General Quality of Life Among Persons With Severe Mental Illness Who Have Experienced Homelessness

Background: Persons with severe mental (SMI) illness who have experienced homelessness are frequently placed into community housing, and have often been overlooked for quality of life assessment (QoL) which considers their subjective experience. Objectives: Conduct a systematic literature review examining recent literature focusing on supportive and independent community housing provided for persons with SMI to assess if differences exist in the general subjective QoL of residents between housing interventions. Data sources: Searches were conducted online via the California State University San Marcos library and included Google Scholar, JSTOR, Social Services Abstracts, and PubMed. Review methods: Searches occurred between February-April 2018 with publication parameters set to 2000-2017 returning 5420 articles. Results were reduced with narrower publication from 2013-2017 to 883. Exclusionary parameters reduced the total to 247, from which articles were reviewed by abstract for relevance. Three articles focused on SMI, QoL, independent housing and three on supportive housing. Results: The general QoL of SMI persons in independent housing was increased or no worse when compared to SMI persons in non-institutionalized housing or living with family. In supportive housing SMI patients two studies showed improved general QoL while one did not. Limitations: This systematic literature review included six studies, focused on two housing interventions, providing only an inconclusive snapshot of the body of investigation. Conclusions: Housing is a vital domain contributing to improved general QoL and is a domain important to these residents. Future work: Permanent housing and the challenges that homeless SMI persons face in daily life require consideration.