Analysis of the health status of the homeless clients utilizing a free clinic

Stephen J. Notaro, Marium Khan, Christina Kim, Mohammad Nasaruddin, Kinary Desai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the health status of the homeless population who utilize a free clinic. The study specifically aims to compare the prevalence of asthma, diabetes, tuberculosis, mental health disorders, sexually transmitted diseases, sinus problems, and hepatitis among the homeless population. Investigators collected data from paper medical records during patient visits from 2004 to 2009. Diagnosed health conditions among the homeless population were compared to the general clinic users using logistic regression. There were several similarities between the general clinic and homeless population, however, the homeless population had statistically significant (p < 0.05) outcomes for diagnosed cases of tuberculosis, hepatitis, anxiety, and bipolar disorders. Prevalence of diabetes, sinus problems, asthma, diabetes, and depression were similar among both populations. The odds ratios among hepatitis, tuberculosis, STDs, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder indicated the homeless had a significantly greater risk of developing hepatitis, tuberculosis, and bipolar disorder. This study adds to the literature by illustrating the characteristics of the homeless population who utilize the free health clinic and their medical conditions. Previous studies have shown the free clinic clients have a lower level of health than the general population. This study finds that the homeless clients of a free clinic have an even worse level of health than the general clinic clients. This research can contribute to the improvement of the healthcare delivery system in providing access to needed health care services for the homeless population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-177
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Community Health
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013

Keywords

  • Free clinics
  • Homeless
  • Medical conditions
  • Uninsured

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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