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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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Pilot Psychosocial Screening Protocol in Children with Congenital Heart Disease

Description

Children with congenital heart disease (CHD) are at increased risk for psychosocial issues (PSI), decreased quality of life (QOL), and decreased resilience. The purpose of this project was to implement

Children with congenital heart disease (CHD) are at increased risk for psychosocial issues (PSI), decreased quality of life (QOL), and decreased resilience. The purpose of this project was to implement a screening protocol for PSI, QOL, and resilience, with appropriate psychosocial referral for children with CHD.

A pilot protocol was implemented to screen children with CHD, aged 8-17 years, and parents, for resilience, QOL, and PSI. Referrals for psychosocial services were made for 84.2% of children screened (n = 16) based on scoring outcomes. Statistically significant differences in the parents and children’s resilience mean scores were noted. Higher parental scores may indicate that parents believe their children are more resilient than the children perceive themselves to be.
Early identification of concerns regarding QOL, resilience, and PSI in children with CHD can provide ongoing surveillance, while affording opportunities for improved communication between providers, parents, and children. Routine screening and longitudinal follow-up is recommended.

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Date Created
  • 2018-04-30