219014 Prevalence of Chronic Illness and Perceived Access to Services at a Day Shelter for the Homeless

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 12:30 PM - 12:45 PM

Mary Weber, PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC , College of Nursing, University of Colorado, Aurora, CO
Lisa Thompson, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC , Stout Street Clinic, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, Denver, CO
Karen Peifer , College of Nursing, University of Colorado College of Nursing, Aurora, CO
There are many physical, psychological/psychiatric, and social issues that face individuals and families who are homeless. Health care, substance treatment, and mental health care services are often scarce and in some places non-existent for those without health insurance. The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of chronic illness and perceived access to services of homeless adults at an urban day shelter. The authors used a self-report survey method to examine the self-reported prevalence of specific chronic medical diseases, mental illness, and substance use among homeless adults who frequent a day shelter. Descriptive data, multiple regression, cluster analysis, and logistical regression were used to analyze the data to identify relationships between variables. The authors identified the homeless individuals' perceived access to medical, mental health, substance use and dental services and the correlations between reasons for homelessness and chronic illness, access to care, and overall health status. This information will be used to more accurately tailor homeless services to meet the unique needs of this population. It will also be used to advocate for additional funding to enhance homeless services, to reduce disease burden and to increase the availability of preventative services.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. The participants will be able to list 5 barriers chronically homeless individuals face in accessing health, mental health, and substance treatment services. 2. Participants will be able to describe the prevalence of chronic illness in an urban homeless adult population. 3. Participants will be able to identify relationships between demographics including length of time homeless and overall perceived health status. 4. Participants will be able to identify at least 3 strategies to improving access to health, mental health, and substance treatment services.

Keywords: Homeless Health Care, Barriers to Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the principal investigator for this research study
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.