Perceptions of Health and Health Service Utilization among Homeless and Housed Psychiatric Consumer/Survivors
Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Homelessness has a direct impact on health. Homeless individuals report several barriers to accessing health care. Although research exists regarding the utilization of health services for homeless and housed psychiatric consumer/survivors, few studies have compared the perceived health and service utilization of these two groups. The objective of this study was to determine whether or not differences exist between the utilization of health services and the perceptions of health of homeless and housed psychiatric consumer/survivors in London, Ontario, Canada. It was hypothesized that differences would exist between homeless and housed psychiatric consumer/survivors on all health-related variables examined. A secondary analysis of quantitative data was conducted in a Community-University Research Alliance on Mental Health and Housing project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Key findings include significant differences in the characteristics of each population, the use of health services and their perceptions of health. Implications for practice and policy are discussed.