• Outcomes For Street Children and Youth Under Multidisciplinary Care in a Drop-In Centre in Tegucigalpa, Honduras

      Souza, R; Porten, K; Nicholas, S; Grais, RF; Médecins Sans Frontières, Geneva, Switzerland; Epicentre, Paris, France (2010-09-14)
      BACKGROUND: There is little evidence to describe the feasibility and outcomes of services for the care of street children and youth in low-income countries. AIMS: To describe the outcomes of a multidisciplinary case management approach delivered in a drop-in centre for street children and youth. METHODS: A longitudinal study of street children and youth followed in an urban drop-in centre. Four hundred (400) street children and youth received a multidisciplinary case management therapeutic package based on the community reinforcement approach. The main outcomes were changes in psychological distress, substance abuse and social situation scores. RESULTS: The median follow-up time for the cohort was 18 months. There were reductions in the levels of psychological distress (p = 0.0001) and substance abuse (p ≤ 0.0001) in the cohort as well as an improvement in the social situation of street children and youth (p = 0.0001). There was a main effect of gender (p < 0.001) and a significant interaction of gender over time (p < 0.001) on improvements in levels of psychological distress. Survival analysis showed that the probability of remaining on substances at 12 months was 0.76 (95% CI: 0.69-0.81) and 0.51 (95% CI: 0.42-0.59) at 24 months. At 12 months, fewer female patients remained using substances compared to male (p < 0.01). CONCLUSION: To be most effective, programmes and strategies for children and youth in street situations in developing countries should target both their health and social needs.