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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Health Care Needs of Homeless Adults At a Nurse-managed Clinic
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Up to 55% of the homeless population report health problems. They often use the emergency department (ED) to obtain care when the health needs are not urgent. Nurse-managed clinics have the potential to reduce nonurgent ED use and improve the health of the homeless. The purpose of this study was to establish baseline health data on homeless persons prior to attending a nurse-managed clinic. This study was a cross-sectional, retrospective health survey of homeless clients at a nurse-managed clinic. A total of 110 participants completed a baseline health survey. Of these, 61% reported that prior to coming to the clinic, they used the ED as a source of health care. The most frequent medical diagnoses reported were substance use disorders, depression, back pain, hypertension, and asthma. Providing care for chronic conditions at a nurse-managed clinic has the potential to improve health and reduce use of the ED. (Authors)