A pilot randomized controlled trial of CAPABLE in permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless adults

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2023 May;71(5):1587-1594. doi: 10.1111/jgs.18235. Epub 2023 Jan 20.


Background: CAPABLE is a time-limited, evidence-based intervention that helps older adults live independently. It has not been previously tested for use among formerly homeless adults in permanent supportive housing (PSH) who experience accelerated aging that can jeopardize their ability to live independently and age in place.

Methods: A pilot randomized controlled trial with PSH tenants with an average age of 63 years old was conducted to examine the impact of CAPABLE on basic and instrumental activities of daily living (ADL) (and other function-related parameters). Twenty-seven PSH tenants received the intervention and 30 PSH tenants were assigned to a waitlist control group.

Results: Those who received the intervention showed improvements in five of seven health outcomes with small to medium effect sizes (Cohen's d = 0.20-0.47). When compared to the control group, the intervention group showed significantly greater improvements in two health outcomes-namely, reduction in limitations in instrumental ADL (p = 0.03) and depression (p = 0.01)-and greater effect sizes (d = 0.17-0.61).

Conclusions: CAPABLE is an evidence-based practice that can be successfully implemented in PSH to improve outcomes in a population that experiences significant health disparities and premature decline. Further investigation with a larger sample is warranted.

Keywords: aging; fall prevention; homelessness; housing first; older adults.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Humans
  • Ill-Housed Persons*
  • Pilot Projects