Adm Policy Ment Health. 2023 Nov 8. doi: 10.1007/s10488-023-01311-9. Online ahead of print.
This study examined COVID-19 infection and hospitalizations among people with serious mental illness who resided in residential care group homes in Massachusetts during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors analyzed data on 2261 group home residents and COVID-19 data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Outcomes included positive COVID-19 tests and COVID-19 hospitalizations March 1, 2020-June 30, 2020 (wave 1) and July 1, 2020-March 31, 2021 (wave 2). Associations between hazard of outcomes and resident and group home characteristics were estimated using multi-level Cox frailty models including home- and city-level frailties. Between March 2020 and March 2021, 182 (8%) residents tested positive for COVID-19, and 51 (2%) had a COVID-19 hospitalization. Compared with the Massachusetts population, group home residents had age-adjusted rate ratios of 3.0 (4.86 vs. 1.60 per 100) for COVID infection and 13.5 (1.99 vs. 0.15 per 100) for COVID hospitalizations during wave 1; during wave 2, the rate ratios were 0.5 (4.55 vs. 8.48 per 100) and 1.7 (0.69 vs. 0.40 per 100). In Cox models, residents in homes with more beds, higher staff-to-resident ratios, recent infections among staff and other residents, and in cities with high community transmission risk had greater hazard of COVID-19 infection. Policies and interventions that target group home-specific risks are needed to mitigate adverse communicable disease outcomes in this population.Clinical Trial Registration Number This study provides baseline (i.e., pre-randomization) data from a clinical trial study NCT04726371.