Using Group Concept Mapping to Develop a Conceptual Model of Housing and Community-Based Residential Settings for Adults With Severe Mental Illness

Amélie Felx, Mary Kane, Marc Corbière, Alain Lesage
Frontiers in Psychiatry 2020, 11: 430

Background: Most existing conceptual models of residential environments and housing programs were developed over a decade ago or lack comprehensiveness. The attributes to be used to describe housing programs with adequate specification remain unclear including the attributes that mediate service user outcomes. In this study, group concept mapping was used to develop a conceptual model of housing and community-based residential settings for adults with severe mental illness based on stakeholder perceptions and values.

Methods: Participants were selected through purposive sampling and included service users, family members, staff working in residential facilities, mental health workers and managers. Participants (n=221) generated 1,382 statements describing attributes of housing and community-based residential settings for adults with severe mental illness (99% saturation). Thematic content analysis was conducted to analyze the statements and create a list of 140 selected statements. Participants then rated (n=416) and sorted into categories (n=73) the selected statements. Descriptive statistics were computed for each statement relative importance. Multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis were used to produce the conceptual model (maps). Stakeholders (n=12) were also involved in the interpretation of the maps.

Results: The findings show overall concordance between stakeholders in relation to statements perceived importance (rating) and the statements inter-relationships (sorting). The stress value of 0.23 indicates that the two-dimensional solution of the multidimensional scaling analysis fits the data set (goodness of fit). The final conceptualization includes 12 clusters: (1) A balanced and healthy housing system; (2) Quality and management practices (facility/local level); (3) Physical external environment; (4) Services tailored to needs and preferences; (5) Services and interventions provided (linkage); (6) Equality, policies and availability of activities; (7) Organizational structure and staff qualities; (8) Services and interventions (learning skills); (9) Services and interventions (daily living support); (10) Personal space and right to privacy; (11) Physical interior environment; (12) Respect, functioning and atmosphere.

Conclusion: The results illustrate the multifaceted and multilevel nature of community-based residential settings through a visual representation. They articulate a number of attributes, clusters and dimensions that could be included in a common conceptual model of community-based residential settings and housing for adults with severe mental illness.

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