217645 Research methodologies in health care for the homeless programs

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 8:30 AM - 8:45 AM

Pia Valvassori, PhD, ARNP , Health Care Center for the Homeless, Maitland, FL
Lisa Thompson, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC , Stout Street Clinic, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, Denver, CO
Numerous barriers have been encountered in Homeless research for several reasons but primarily funding, dynamics of the population, and lack of collaboration among researchers. Funding sources look for scientific rigor which often is not feasible in conducting research among the homeless. The homeless are a population difficult to quantify and often times defined by the number of people living in shelters only. Homelessness is a dynamic process and therefore no one knows the exact number of homeless individuals. Studies have long been complicated by problems with definitions and methodology. As a result, most studies that are conducted are descriptive in nature reducing reliability and validity. The National Health Care for the Homeless Council is comprised of individuals both consumers and professionals whose charge is to improve the health of homeless individuals. Health care for the Homeless projects are located nationwide and provide primary health care services to the homeless. The Council has attempted to encourage clinicians to be involved in practice based research to enhance the quality of care delivered and shape policy. The Council's research committee has formed a Practice Based Research Network (PBRN) that enables Health care for the Homeless providers to collaborate on research ultimately improving the quality of care delivered. The PBRN is a way of empowering clinicians and enhancing collaborations between academic researchers and Health Care for the Homeless providers. Through the PBRN we hope to overcome many of the barriers encountered in the past which can only enhance the credibility of future studies.

Learning Areas:
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
To demonstrate research methodologies incoporated in a collaborative manner among Health Care for the Homeless Programs. Discuss current challenges that exist in conducting rigorous research with homeless populations Explain the process and benefits and utilizing the Practice Based Research Network in conducting research on the homeless

Keywords: Community Collaboration, Health Centers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a chair of the Research Coordinating commitee for the National Health care for the Homeless Council
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.