Navigation Links
Homeless adults have significant unmet health care needs
Date:5/14/2010

The vast majority of homeless adults surveyed in a national study had trouble accessing at least one type of needed health care service in the preceding year, according to a study that will appear in the July American Journal of Public Health and is now available online. The report from investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program may be the first broad-based national study of factors related to unmet health needs among homeless people.

"Our study documents the substantial inability of homeless people to get the health care they need," says Travis Baggett, MD, of the MGH Department of Medicine, the study's lead author. "Almost three-quarters of respondents had at least one type of unmet health care need. Rates for specific services were six to ten times higher than those seen in the general population, and being uninsured was a consistent predictor of the inability to get needed care."

The researchers analyzed data from the 2003 Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) User Survey, which interviewed patients seen at 79 clinics nationwide that receive funding through the Federal HCH Program, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Almost 970 homeless adults who had received services at HCH-funded sites were interviewed about a range of topics, including whether they had trouble accessing five types of health services in the preceding year medical or surgical care, prescription medications, mental health care, eyeglasses and dental care.

While 73 percent of respondents reported at least one unmet health need, 49 percent reported two or more unmet needs. The breakdown regarding inability to access particular types of care was 32 percent for medical or surgical care, 36 percent for prescription medications, 21 percent for mental health care, 41 percent for eyeglasses, and 41 percent for dental care. The most frequently cited reasons were the inability to afford needed care and lack of health insurance. The researchers note that, since all study participants had received some services at an HCH-funded site during the previous year, their results may under-represent the overall level of unmet health needs among homeless people.

Other factors associated with difficulty accessing needed care were lack of adequate food, a history of being in foster care as a child and vision problems. Respondents who reported having worked during the prior year actually had more trouble accessing services than those who had not worked.

"Our findings related to employment were particularly interesting," Baggett explains. "Homeless people who worked were more likely to be uninsured, and the more someone worked, the less likely they were to have health insurance. Independent of differences in insurance, homeless workers reported more difficulty getting needed medical care and prescription medications. This confirms our clinical observation that homeless people who work must often place higher priority on going to work than on receiving any health care they may need."

A fellow in General Medicine at MGH and Harvard Medical School, Baggett also is a clinician at the Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program, an independent non-profit organization. He notes that efforts to improve health care access for homeless people need to address their unique needs. "Health services compatible with work schedules and co-located with food and shelter services may help mitigate the challenges faced by homeless patients. Future studies should assess the effects of novel health care delivery strategies that address the barriers homeless people face in accessing needed care."


'/>"/>

Contact: Sue McGreevey
smcgreevey@partners.org
617-724-2764
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Diabetic Sock Company to Donate a Pair of Socks for Every Pair Sold to U.S. Homeless
2. National Safe Place Week Launches in Las Vegas to Help Prevent Teen Homelessness
3. National Safe Place Week Helps Prevent Teen Homelessness
4. Josephs Home Celebrates 10 Years of Serving Homeless Men
5. Founder and President of BOMF, Anne Mahlum, Speaks on How Running Helps to Tackle Homelessness, at National Press Club
6. Richard Maize Inspires Wealthy to Aid Homeless During Hanukkah, Christmas
7. TCOM Students Care for Homeless at Day Resource Center
8. New study suggests sickle cell disease may affect brain function in adults
9. Hookahs an Unhealthy Hit Among Privileged Young Adults
10. Older Adults Have Lower Rates of Mood, Anxiety Disorders
11. Stomach Cancer on the Rise Among Young, White Adults
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan ... require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of ... Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to ... said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... plastic surgery procedures that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to ... known procedures, but also many of these less common operations such as calf and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... MIAMI, Fla. (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Florida Trend magazine’s 2016 Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this ... of Florida. , Seven Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... the Clinical Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. ... articles published in Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research and ... Global Market - Forecast to 2022" report to their ... treatment method for the patients with kidney failure, it replaces ... fluid from the patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps ... and chloride in balance. Increasing number of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: ... 510(k) clearance for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay ... sepsis or septic shock. With this clearance, Roche is ... a fully integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment and ... with bacterial infection and PCT levels in blood can ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Bracket , a leading clinical trial technology and ... platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, at the 52 nd ... 2016 in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania.  A demonstration ... of its kind to fully integrate with RTSM, will be ... is a flexible platform for electronic clinical outcomes assessments that ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: