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Unmet mental health and substance use treatment needs among older homeless adults: Results from the HOPE HOME Study.



To examine the prevalence of and factors associated with unmet need for mental health and substance use treatment in older homeless adults.


Among 350 homeless adults aged ≥50, we examined prevalence of mental health and substance use problems and treatment. Using logistic regression, we examined factors associated with unmet treatment need.


Among those with a mental health problem, being aged ≥65 was associated with an increased odds, while having a regular healthcare provider and case manager were associated with a decreased odds of having unmet need for mental health treatment. A first homelessness episode at age ≥50 was associated with increased, while spending time in jail/prison or having a case manager was associated with decreased odds of unmet needs for substance use treatment.


Older homeless adults have a high prevalence of unmet behavioral health treatment need. There is a need for targeted services for this population.

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