Working together: evaluating an integrated model of care for people experiencing homelessness and substance use problems

Funding body: Island Health Collaborative Grant

Background: People who are homeless and using substances often experience poorer health and barriers to accessing health care services. In order to address these challenges, there has been increasing attention to integration of a range of services and thereby increasing access to health services and resources for better health and the importance of harm reduction approaches. A primary outcome of this project has been to develop a strong research team that spans health and community sectors and with capacity for realist evaluation. With this critical groundwork in place, we undertook an integrated literature review of the implementation of harm reduction to inform the development of a longer term research proposal.

Progress to date: We have completed an integrative literature review focusing on integration and implementation of harm reduction, conducted realist evaluation training for the team, and developed realist evaluation program theory.  We are currently producing a CISUR bulletin outlining a framework for harm reduction implementation, updating the lit review to include 2016/2017 articles and are working towards publications in the coming months.