The primary health care service experiences and needs of homeless youth: A narrative synthesis of current evidence

Publisher:
e-Content Management
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Contemporary Nurse, 2013, 44 (1), pp. 62 - 75
Issue Date:
2013
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Homeless youth are a growing, vulnerable population with specific primary health care (PHC) requirements. There are no systematic reviews of evidence to guide the delivery of PHC interventions to best address the needs of homeless youth in Australia. We present a narrative synthesis of peer reviewed research designed to determine: (1) the PHC services homeless youth access; (2) experiences of services, reported outcomes and barriers to use; and, (3) the PHC service needs of homeless youth. Findings show that homeless youth access a variety of services and delivery approaches. Increased PHC use is associated with youth who recognise they need help. Street-based clinic linked services and therapy and case management alongside improved housing can positively impact upon mental health and substance use outcomes. Barriers to service use include knowledge; provider attitudes, financial constraints and inappropriate environments. Findings support targetted, co-ordinated networks of PHC and housing services with nurses working alongside community workers.
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