The 2009 Health Center Patient Survey was a nationally representative survey of patients served by health centers who are funded through Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act. Items focused on sociodemographic characteristics, health conditions, health behaviors, access to care, and utilization of services. The survey also included questions on living arrangements, enabling the identification of patients currently experiencing homelessness.
The study showed that homeless patients had worse health status—lifetime burden of chronic conditions, mental health problems, and substance use problems—compared with housed patients. In adjusted analyses, homeless patients had twice the odds as housed patients of having unmet medical care needs in the past year and twice the odds of having an emergency department visit in the past year. There is an ongoing need to focus on the health issues that disproportionately affect homeless populations.
Report Title: Health Status and Health Care Experiences among Homeless Patients in Federally Supported Health Centers: Findings from the 2009 Patient Survey
Agency Sponsor: HRSA, Health Resources and Services Administration
Federal Contact: Lydie Lebrun-Harris, 301-443-2178
Record ID: 10195 (November 7, 2012)