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Homeless Individuals' Perceptions of Welcomeness versus Unwelcomeness by Emergency Department Staff

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Homelessness has a history of existing as a misunderstood condition involving stereotypes, stigmas and assumptions. In fact, the combination of acute-care medical professionals with patients of chronic illness and chronic

Homelessness has a history of existing as a misunderstood condition involving stereotypes, stigmas and assumptions. In fact, the combination of acute-care medical professionals with patients of chronic illness and chronic homelessness can lead to incongruity of attitudes. These mindsets have the potential to affect the care homeless individuals receive in the emergency department (ED) and impact their intentions to seek medical help in the future (Ugarriza & Fallon, 1994, pp. 26). Furthermore, homeless individuals account for 54.5% of all ED visits in the United States (Kushel et al., 2002). The author conducted a qualitative descriptive study of 10 in-person interviews with homeless individuals in the downtown Phoenix, AZ area. The objective was to determine homeless individuals' perceptions of welcomeness and unwelcomeness by emergency department staff. Findings support significantly unwelcome experiences in the ED and negative perceptions of ED staff through repeating concepts of dehumanization, dismissal, stereotypes and discrimination. Further research is needed to create interventions for improving perceptions of ED staff, promoting health and preventing illness in the homeless population, and reducing ED visits by homeless individuals.

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  • 2014-05

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Exploring Perceptions of Colorectal Cancer Screening in Latino Adults: A Qualitative Approach

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Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most prevalent form of cancer in both genders and second highest cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Despite the availability of preventative

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most prevalent form of cancer in both genders and second highest cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Despite the availability of preventative CRC screening, Latinos as a group are of particular concern for CRC as they tend to have a lower screening rate, contributing to the possibility of late-stage diagnosis or even death. However, little is known about the perceptions of CRC screening and factors which contribute to beliefs about CRC in Latinos. Most studies are quantitative and rarely include a qualitative approach focusing on cultural aspects and communication with physicians. The purpose of this study was to explore participants' perceived facilitators and barriers to CRC screening, as well as perspectives on physician recommendation and fatalism, using a qualitative approach. A convenience and snowball sampling were used to collect the data. Eight English-speaking Latino individuals (M age=56 years; 75% female) in the Phoenix, Arizona area were invited to 60-90 minute in-depth interviews on perceptions of the colorectal cancer screening process. Ten major themes emerged from the interviews: (1) lacking awareness and knowledge of CRC screening, (2) attitude toward CRC and screening, (3) availability of preventive care, (4) physician trust, (5) fear, (6) desire for increased information, (7) personal learning, (8) lifestyle factors, (9) cultural impact, and (10) willingness to change lifestyle. Results indicated varying levels of perceived knowledge of colorectal cancer, little perceived risk of diagnosis, desire for more information, and a high level of physician trust. Implications for nursing included increased need for CRC screening educational resources, as well as further investigation of the influence of fatalistic belief in CRC screening compliance for the Latino population.

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  • 2015-12