Health-seeking challenges among homeless youth.
ABSTRACT Approximately 1.5 to 2 million homeless young persons live on the streets in the United States. With the current economic situation, research is needed on quality of services geared toward homeless young adults.
The objective of this study was to explore homeless young adults' perspectives on barriers and facilitators of health-care-seeking behavior and their perspectives on improving existing programs for homeless persons.
This article is a descriptive qualitative study using focus groups, with a purposeful sample of 24 homeless drug-using young adults.
Identified themes were failing access to care based on perceived structural barriers (limited clinic sites, limited hours of operation, priority health conditions, and long wait times) and social barriers (perception of discrimination by uncaring professionals, law enforcement, and society in general).
Results provide insight into programmatic and agency resources that facilitate health-seeking behaviors among homeless young adults and include implications for more research with providers of homeless health and social services.
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ABSTRACT: Objectives. We examined the prevalence of self-reported traumatic brain injury (TBI) among homeless young people and explored whether sociodemographic characteristics, mental health diagnoses, substance use, exposure to violence, or difficulties with activities of daily living (ADLs) were associated with TBI. Methods. We analyzed data from the Wilder Homelessness Study, in which participants were recruited in 2006 and 2009 from streets, shelters, and locations in Minnesota that provide services to homeless individuals. Participants completed 30-minute interviews to collect information about history of TBI, homelessness, health status, exposure to violence (e.g., childhood abuse, assault), and other aspects of functioning. Results. Of the 2732 participating adolescents and young adults, 43% reported a history of TBI. Participants with TBI became homeless at a younger age and were more likely to report mental health diagnoses, substance use, suicidality, victimization, and difficulties with ADLs. The majority of participants (51%) reported sustaining their first injury prior to becoming homeless or at the same age of their first homeless episode (10%). Conclusions. TBI occurs frequently among homeless young people and is a marker of adverse outcomes such as mental health difficulties, suicidal behavior, substance use, and victimization. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print August 14, 2014: e1-e7. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302087).American Journal of Public Health 08/2014; 104(10):e1-e7. DOI:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302087 · 4.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: For mental health professionals to provide personalized early interventions, young people need to disclose sensitive information to a clinician they are unlikely to have yet formed a relationship with. We conducted in-depth qualitative interviews with 129 young people aged 12–25 years from several sites across Australia to gauge views on whether young people thought that an electronic psychosocial assessment tool could help them initially disclose personal information. Additionally, we were interested in whether young people from different demographic groups held similar views around using the e-tool. Results provided support for the use of an e-tool, with most young people stating that it could help in the disclosure of particularly embarrassing problems. The main advantages reported were that the e-tool would support disclosure without fear of judgment by health professionals, and would enable young people greater input in deciding what to focus on. Young people who held a preference to simply talk were most concerned about the clinician missing non-verbal cues. These findings highlight the value of incorporating electronic options within clinical practice, but also the need for health professionals to work within a flexible framework guided by the individual preferences of each of their clients.Journal of Child and Family Studies 05/2014; 24(5). DOI:10.1007/s10826-014-9929-0 · 1.42 Impact Factor