Health and use of health services of people who are homeless and at risk of homelessness who receive free primary health care in Dublin

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10147/559229
Title:
Health and use of health services of people who are homeless and at risk of homelessness who receive free primary health care in Dublin
Authors:
Keogh, Claire; O’Brien, Kirsty K; Hoban, Anthony; O’Carroll, Austin; Fahey, Tom
Citation:
Health and use of health services of people who are homeless and at risk of homelessness who receive free primary health care in Dublin 2015, 15 (1) BMC Health Services Research
Journal:
BMC Health Services Research
Issue Date:
12-Feb-2015
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10147/559229
DOI:
10.1186/s12913-015-0716-4
Additional Links:
http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6963/15/58
Item Type:
Article
Language:
en
Description:
Background: Homeless populations experience poorer physical and mental health, and more barriers to accessing adequate healthcare. This study investigates the health of this population, following the provision of a free to access primary care service for homeless people in Dublin (Safetynet). The health of this group will be compared to previous studies on homelessness conducted in Dublin prior to the establishment of this service (in 1997 and 2005). Methods: Participants were recruited through Safetynet clinics. A 133-item questionnaire was administered to determine participants’ physical and mental well-being, use of health services and healthcare needs. Prescription data was extracted from participants’ electronic health records. Results: A total of 105 participants were recruited. The majority were < 45 years of age (69%), male (75%), single (52%), Irish (74%) and had children (52%). Multimorbidity was common; with 5.3 ± 2.7 (mean ± SD) physical conditions reported per person. A large proportion of participants had at some point received a formal diagnosis of a mental health condition (70%; 73/105), including depression (50%; 52/105), addiction disorder (39%), anxiety (36%; 38/105), schizophrenia (13%; 14/105) and bipolar disorder (6%; 6/105). With regards to illicit drug use, 60% (63/105) of participants reported ever using drugs, while 33% (35/105) reported being active drug users. Based on AUDIT C criteria, 53% had an alcohol problem. Compared to previous studies, participants reported more positive ratings of health (70% vs. 57% in 1997 and 46% in 2005). The proportion of participants on one or more prescription medication was higher than in previous studies (81% vs. 32% in 1997 and 49% in 2005) and there was a decrease in attendance at outpatients departments (17% vs. 27% in 2005) and a trend towards a decrease in attendance at Accident and Emergency departments (A & E) (29% vs. 37% in 2005). Conclusions: This vulnerable population has many physical and mental health problems. Use of drugs, alcohol and smoking is common. Following the establishment of Safetynet, self-reported health was rated more positively, there was also a decrease in the use of A & E and outpatient services and an increase in prescription medicines.
Keywords:
HOMELESSNESS; PRIMARY CARE; ACCESS TO SERVICES
ISSN:
1472-6963

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorKeogh, Claireen
dc.contributor.authorO’Brien, Kirsty Ken
dc.contributor.authorHoban, Anthonyen
dc.contributor.authorO’Carroll, Austinen
dc.contributor.authorFahey, Tomen
dc.date.accessioned2015-07-08T11:04:29Zen
dc.date.available2015-07-08T11:04:29Zen
dc.date.issued2015-02-12en
dc.identifier.citationHealth and use of health services of people who are homeless and at risk of homelessness who receive free primary health care in Dublin 2015, 15 (1) BMC Health Services Researchen
dc.identifier.issn1472-6963en
dc.identifier.doi10.1186/s12913-015-0716-4en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10147/559229en
dc.descriptionBackground: Homeless populations experience poorer physical and mental health, and more barriers to accessing adequate healthcare. This study investigates the health of this population, following the provision of a free to access primary care service for homeless people in Dublin (Safetynet). The health of this group will be compared to previous studies on homelessness conducted in Dublin prior to the establishment of this service (in 1997 and 2005). Methods: Participants were recruited through Safetynet clinics. A 133-item questionnaire was administered to determine participants’ physical and mental well-being, use of health services and healthcare needs. Prescription data was extracted from participants’ electronic health records. Results: A total of 105 participants were recruited. The majority were < 45 years of age (69%), male (75%), single (52%), Irish (74%) and had children (52%). Multimorbidity was common; with 5.3 ± 2.7 (mean ± SD) physical conditions reported per person. A large proportion of participants had at some point received a formal diagnosis of a mental health condition (70%; 73/105), including depression (50%; 52/105), addiction disorder (39%), anxiety (36%; 38/105), schizophrenia (13%; 14/105) and bipolar disorder (6%; 6/105). With regards to illicit drug use, 60% (63/105) of participants reported ever using drugs, while 33% (35/105) reported being active drug users. Based on AUDIT C criteria, 53% had an alcohol problem. Compared to previous studies, participants reported more positive ratings of health (70% vs. 57% in 1997 and 46% in 2005). The proportion of participants on one or more prescription medication was higher than in previous studies (81% vs. 32% in 1997 and 49% in 2005) and there was a decrease in attendance at outpatients departments (17% vs. 27% in 2005) and a trend towards a decrease in attendance at Accident and Emergency departments (A & E) (29% vs. 37% in 2005). Conclusions: This vulnerable population has many physical and mental health problems. Use of drugs, alcohol and smoking is common. Following the establishment of Safetynet, self-reported health was rated more positively, there was also a decrease in the use of A & E and outpatient services and an increase in prescription medicines.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.relation.urlhttp://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6963/15/58en
dc.rightsArchived with thanks to BMC Health Services Researchen
dc.subjectHOMELESSNESSen
dc.subjectPRIMARY CAREen
dc.subjectACCESS TO SERVICESen
dc.titleHealth and use of health services of people who are homeless and at risk of homelessness who receive free primary health care in Dublinen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.identifier.journalBMC Health Services Researchen
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