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The health needs of regionally based individuals who experience homelessness: perspectives of service providers

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Bennett-Daly, G, Maxwell, H ORCID: 0000-0003-0610-4698 and Bridgman, H ORCID: 0000-0002-1232-952X 2022 , 'The health needs of regionally based individuals who experience homelessness: perspectives of service providers' , International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 19, no. 14 , p. 8368 , doi: 10.3390/ijerph19148368.

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Abstract

The bidirectional relationship between homelessness and poor health and the barriers that individuals who experience homelessness face when trying to access healthcare are well documented. There is, however, little Australian research exploring the situation of individuals who experience homelessness in regional contexts and, moreover, from the perspective of service providers. A qualitative descriptive methodology underpinned this study, with in-depth semi-structured interviews being conducted with 11 service providers to identify barriers to care faced by people who experience homelessness and barriers that service providers themselves experience in supporting this population. The key barriers identified were client-level barriers: living day-by-day, financial, health literacy, mental health conditions, behaviour, safety and stigma; provider-level barriers: few bulk-billing doctors, fragmented services, limited resources, negative past experiences with healthcare; and system level barriers: transportation, over-stretched healthcare services. The combined impact of these barriers has significantly contributed to the desperate situation of people experiencing homelessness in Launceston. This situation is likely replicated in other regional populations in Australia. Given that individuals experiencing homelessness have higher rates of every measure in health inequality, steps need to be taken to reduce barriers, and a standardised approach to health care urgently needs to be implemented by governments at the state and national level to improve the health of regionally based individuals experiencing homelessness.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Bennett-Daly, G and Maxwell, H and Bridgman, H
Keywords: homelessness, health care, nursing, nurse-led
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publisher: MDPI AG
ISSN: 1661-7827
DOI / ID Number: 10.3390/ijerph19148368
Copyright Information:

Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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