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Access to Healthcare Among Those Experiencing Homelessness: A Depression Screening Project

Description

Homeless individuals encounter barriers such as lack of health insurance, increased cost of care and unavailability of resources. They have increased risk of comorbid physical disease and poor mental health.

Homeless individuals encounter barriers such as lack of health insurance, increased cost of care and unavailability of resources. They have increased risk of comorbid physical disease and poor mental health. Depression is a prevalent mental health disorder in the US linked to increased risk of mortality. Literature suggests depression screening can identify high-risk individuals with using the patient health questionnaire (PHQ-9).

The objective of this project is to determine if screening identifies depression in the homeless and how it impacts healthcare access. Setting is a local organization in Phoenix offering shelter to homeless individuals. An evidence-based project was implemented over two months in 2019 using convenience sampling. Intervention included depression screening using the PHQ-9, referring to primary care and tracking appointment times. IRB approval obtained from Arizona State University, privacy discussed, and consent obtained prior to data collection. Participants were assigned a random number to protect privacy.

A chart audit tool was used to obtain sociodemographics and insurance status. Descriptive statistics used and analyzed using Intellectus. Sample size was (n = 18), age (M = 35) most were White-non-Hispanic, 44% had a high school diploma and 78% were insured. Mean score was 7.72, three were previously diagnosed and not referred. Three were referred with a turnaround appointment time of one, two and seven days respectively. No significant correlation found between age and depression severity. A significant correlation found between previous diagnosis and depression severity. Attention to PHQ-9 varied among providers and not always addressed. Future projects should focus on improving collaboration between this facility and providers, increasing screening and ensuring adequate follow up and treatment.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05-04

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Adverse Childhood Experiences and Maternal Education

Description

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events experienced during childhood that have negative effects starting as a child and extending into adulthood. The presence of multiple ACEs increases negative mental,

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events experienced during childhood that have negative effects starting as a child and extending into adulthood. The presence of multiple ACEs increases negative mental, physical, and behavioral health outcomes. Children of parents who have experienced ACEs are at a higher risk of experiencing ACEs themselves, creating an intergenerational cycle of trauma between parents and their children. Evidence suggests that parenting education can reduce the impact of ACEs and potentially eliminate poor health outcomes. The literature revealed that parenting education was found to increase parenting competency, which will in turn reduce the impact of ACEs on children.

The purpose of this evidence-based project is to evaluate parenting competency and parenting self-efficacy after implementing six parenting workshops. The workshop topics consist of: (a) stress management, (b) understanding trauma, (c) positive parenting, (d) positive discipline, (e) play, and (f) learning development and support. The workshops were delivered at a community residential facility for women seeking recovery from abuse, incarceration, chemical dependency and other life-controlling problems. Participants included 10 female residents.

Demographics, ACE scores, pre and post Parenting Sense of Competency Scale, and a post intervention satisfaction questionnaire and discussion were used to collect data from the participants. Mothers’ ACE scores ranged from 2-9. The parenting self-efficacy score increased in the subgroup that attended all six workshops. All of the mothers agreed that the workshops would help with parenting their children. The findings suggest that parenting education increases parenting knowledge and self-efficacy, and may reduce the impact of ACEs on children.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05-04