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Psychologically Informed Environments

strength of evidence

Insufficient evidence available

Cost effectiveness

Insufficient evidence available


Insufficient evidence available

What is this intervention?

Psychologically informed environments (PIE) are services that are designed and delivered in a way that takes into account the emotional and psychological needs of the individuals using them and working in them. Any service working with vulnerable people can become a PIE and a wide range of homelessness services have adopted the model. Examples of features of a PIE are psychological awareness, staff training and support, and a learning approach.

What is its goal?

The aim of a PIE is to improve the psychological and emotional wellbeing of people accessing, or working in, the service. The intended outcomes for service users include improvements in emotional and mental wellbeing, improved relationships with others, and reduced maladaptive coping strategies.

What does the evidence tell us?


There are no studies measuring the effectiveness of Psychologically Informed Environments.





Where does the evidence come from?

There are currently no relevant studies.

Which groups does it affect?

No evidence is available on which groups this intervention affects.

Which outcomes does it affect? 

No evidence is available on which outcomes this intervention affects

considerations for IMPLEMENTATION

Focus on staff skills and training

If you are trying to create a psychologically informed environment (PIE), ensure your team are trained on the PIE principles and given concrete examples of how to employ a range of tactics. These include being present at key times and using more direct and demanding approaches to engage different service users. Your team should be skilled in engaging with people in a flexible and personalised way.

Tailor approach to the user’s needs

Ensure that service user relationships with your team are patient and respectful. For some service users it may be helpful if interactions with staff are informal, brief and casual. Ensure your team are flexible and demonstrably invest in the relationship, with a focus on the provision of housing-related and long-term treatment and support. Your team should be aware that people who have experienced trauma are often mistrustful of services.

Reduce obstacles to engagement

When thinking about psychologically informed housing options, try to avoid conditions and do not compromise the service user’s autonomy, dignity or identity. Avoid complex application processes which can be off-putting for service users.

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