Health care for the homeless

A family medicine perspective

Richard P Usatine, L. Gelberg, M. H. Smith, J. Lesser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many factors contribute to the health problems of homeless persons, including exposure to adverse weather, trauma and crime, overcrowding in shelters, unusual sleeping accommodations, poor hygiene and nutritional status, alcoholism, drug abuse and psychiatric illness. It is common for homeless adults to have skin ailments, respiratory infections, traumatic injuries and chronic gastrointestinal, vascular, dental and neurologic disorders. Homeless children may have respiratory, ear and skin diseases, as well as special problems, including failure to thrive, developmental delay, neglect and abuse. Important questions to ask during history-taking include questions about sleeping conditions, sources of food, past psychiatric problems and substance abuse, and sources of social support. Special attention should be given to examination of the skin, teeth and feet. Supplemental food, immunizations, psychologic counseling and social service referrals should be considered for homeless pediatric patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-146
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Family Physician
Volume49
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

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Substance-Related Disorders
Psychiatry
Tooth
Medicine
Homeless Youth
Delivery of Health Care
Ear Diseases
Homeless Persons
Food
Failure to Thrive
Skin
Wounds and Injuries
Weather
Crime
Nervous System Diseases
Nutritional Status
Social Work
Hygiene
Skin Diseases
Social Support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Usatine, R. P., Gelberg, L., Smith, M. H., & Lesser, J. (1994). Health care for the homeless: A family medicine perspective. American Family Physician, 49(1), 139-146.

Health care for the homeless : A family medicine perspective. / Usatine, Richard P; Gelberg, L.; Smith, M. H.; Lesser, J.

In: American Family Physician, Vol. 49, No. 1, 1994, p. 139-146.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Usatine, RP, Gelberg, L, Smith, MH & Lesser, J 1994, 'Health care for the homeless: A family medicine perspective', American Family Physician, vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 139-146.
Usatine, Richard P ; Gelberg, L. ; Smith, M. H. ; Lesser, J. / Health care for the homeless : A family medicine perspective. In: American Family Physician. 1994 ; Vol. 49, No. 1. pp. 139-146.
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