BMC Health Services Research is calling for submissions to our Collection on Health services for people experiencing homelessness.
People experiencing homelessness have poorer health than the general population. In addition, homeless people face several barriers to accessing healthcare. These barriers can vary depending on local contexts and specific healthcare systems, but some common trends can be identified, such as difficulty in accessing healthcare facilities, poor health literacy, language barriers, competing needs (shelter, food), lack of follow-up care, lack of social support etc. Improving knowledge about this topic is needed to ensure equitable access to healthcare for homeless people. Multi-morbidity and chronic conditions are also highly prevalent among people experiencing homelessness.
Studies analyzing the use of health services by people who are homeless and at risk of homelessness depict a scenario where prevention and primary care remain poorly accessible to this population whereas emergency medical services become the only source of healthcare in response to deteriorated health conditions and crises. A variety of barriers contributes to creating unmet health needs in a now growing and diversifying homeless population along with an unfavorable unbalance in healthcare resources utilization.
BMC Health Services Research welcomes submissions that investigate access to and provision of healthcare for people experiencing homelessness. We are particularly interested in studies describing comprehensive, person-centered, integrated care programs conducted in healthcare settings to offer primary and preventative care, along with complex care for chronic diseases and multi-morbidities.
We welcome original research, systematic and scoping reviews that focus on the following themes:
- Barriers and facilitators: investigating the barriers and facilitators to accessing healthcare services for individuals experiencing homelessness (e.g. stigma, financial constraints, attitudes, infrastructure and systemic challenges) and how these are reflected in healthcare utilization
- Innovative service models: showcasing innovative and effective health service models that cater specifically to the needs of homeless populations, including mobile clinics, humanitarian clinics, outreach programs, and other initiatives
- Primary and preventative medicine: describing programs that prioritize primary care and regular/comprehensive preventive care measures.
- Complex and integrated care for chronic diseases and multi-morbidities: presenting comprehensive, person-centered, integrated care programs to identify and manage patients with chronic diseases and complex comorbidities
- Mental health and substance use: exploring integrated approaches to address mental health, well-being, self-harm risk, and substance abuse targeted to this population
- Health equity and social determinants: identifying and measuring disparity in access and provision of care in people experiencing homelessness and in the general population and strategies to promote health equity
- Policy implications: evaluating existing policies and proposing evidence-based policy recommendations to enhance the accessibility and quality of healthcare services for people experiencing homelessness
- Specialized health workforce: initiatives aiming at training, supporting, and managing a trained workforce to offer targeted and coordinated care
- Collaborative partnerships: highlighting successful collaborations between healthcare providers, social service agencies, and community organizations to create comprehensive and integrated healthcare solutions
This collection is relevant to SDG 3: Good Health & Well-Being and SDG 11: Sustainable cities & communities.
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