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

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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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Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction: A Psychotherapeutic Intervention in Patients with Chronic Dermatological Diseases

Description

Psychological stress plays a vital role in skin disease. The worsening and reoccurrence of signs and symptoms of a wide array of skin diseases have been linked by various studies

Psychological stress plays a vital role in skin disease. The worsening and reoccurrence of signs and symptoms of a wide array of skin diseases have been linked by various studies to stress. Together, stress and skin disease synergistically inhibit occupational, social, and emotional functioning resulting in diminished quality of life (Dixon, Witcraft, & Perry, 2019). Heightened levels of stress may contribute to an assortment of immediate and future adverse outcomes. These outcomes include triggering a skin outbreak, impairing function, behavioral avoidance, intense negative emotions such as shame and embarrassment, and emotional distress such as depression and anxiety (Dixon et al., 2019).

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the relationship of stress, anxiety, and depression to the specific chronic skin diseases of acne vulgaris, psoriasis, vitiligo, rosacea, and atopic dermatitis. It will also discuss how a psychotherapeutic intervention called mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) may decrease anxiety and depression in individuals affected by chronic skin diseases. This paper will also highlight the impact of MBSR on treatment adherence to dermatological prescription medications. A pilot program conducted in a dermatology clinic evaluates the effectiveness of an online mindfulness-based stress reduction intervention to decrease patient anxiety and depression.

Results indicate clinical significance in that participants noted reduced anxiety and depression symptoms and scores, enjoyed MBSR and would continue MBSR. The potential benefits of this pilot program may include decreased patient anxiety and depression, increased patient satisfaction, increased treatment adherence, improved patient satisfaction of intervention, and improved patient outcomes.

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Date Created
  • 2020-04-25