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‘Grounding a PIE in the sky’: laying empirical foundations for a psychologically-informed environment to enhance wellbeing and practice in a homeless organisation

Schneider, C. ORCID:, Hobson, C. and Shelton, K. ORCID: 2022. ‘Grounding a PIE in the sky’: laying empirical foundations for a psychologically-informed environment to enhance wellbeing and practice in a homeless organisation. Health and Social Care in the Community 30 (3) , e657-e667. 10.1111/hsc.13435

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While psychologically informed environments (PIEs) are gaining in prominence in efforts to improve well-being and practice in the homeless sector, their empirical foundations remain tenuous. We present a unique scoping needs analysis of staff and client well-being, staff attitudes and the social–therapeutic climate in a UK-based homeless prevention organisation (prior to PIE implementation). Our aims were: (a) to apply a robust framework to pinpoint need and target forthcoming PIE initiatives and (b) to establish a validated needs baseline that informs and measures efficacy of PIE for its future development. Four established personal and practice well-being measures were administered to 134 (predominantly ‘frontline’) staff and 50 clients. Staff completed the: Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS), Professional Quality of Life Scale (measuring compassion satisfaction [CS], burnout [BO] and secondary traumatic stress [STS]), Attitudes related to Trauma-informed Care Scale (ARTIC-10; measuring practice attitudes towards trauma-informed values) and the Essen Climate Evaluation Schema (EssenCES; measuring perceptions of client cohesion, safety and practitioner relationships in housing projects). Clients completed the WEMWBS and EssenCES. Vulnerability to STS was evident in nearly two-thirds of frontline staff and it was a statistically significant predictor of BO. It was not, however, associated with lesser levels of CS. We discuss this complex dynamic in relation to highlighted strategic recommendations for the PIE framework, and the identified potential challenges in implementing trauma-informed and reflective practice in the organisation. We conclude with a critique of the value and the lessons learnt from our efforts to integrate stronger empirical substance into the PIE approach.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0966-0410
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 29 April 2021
Date of Acceptance: 28 April 2021
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 22:45

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