Care avoidance among homeless people and access to care: an interview study among spiritual caregivers, street pastors, homeless outreach workers and formerly homeless people

Hanna T Klop, Kirsten Evenblij, Jaap R G Gootjes, Anke J E de Veer, Bregje D Onwuteaka-Philipsen

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Because of their poor health and social vulnerability, homeless people require specific care. However, due to care avoidance, homeless people are often not involved in care. This study aims to get insights into reasons for and kinds of care avoidance among homeless people and to provide suggestions to reach this target group.

METHODS: Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted among street pastors (n = 9), spiritual caregivers (n = 9), homeless outreach workers (n = 7) and formerly homeless people (n = 3). Participants were recruited by purposive sampling in the four major cities in the Netherlands (Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam, The Hague). The verbatim transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis.

RESULTS: The term care avoidance was perceived as stigmatizing. Care avoidance is found to be related to characteristics of the homeless person (e.g. having complex problems, other priorities) as well as of the system (e.g. complex system, conditions and requirements of organizations). The person-related characteristics suggestions to involve homeless persons include tailoring care and building relationships, which might even be prioritised over starting care interventions. Setting limits on behaviour without rejecting the person, and an attitude reflecting humanity, dignity and equality were also important factors in making care more accessible and lasting. As regards system-related characteristics, the suggestions include clear information and communication to homeless people who avoid care as being crucial in order to make care more accessible. Other suggestions include quiet and less busy shelters, a non-threatening attitude and treatment by professionals, self-reflection by professionals and finally a change of policy and legislation regarding available time.

CONCLUSIONS: Reasons for care avoidance can be found in the interplay between both the individual and the system; measures to reduce care avoidance should be taken at both levels. These measures are centred on lowering the barriers to care inter alia by incorporating building trust and understanding into the care provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1095
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 2018

Cite this

@article{72ca10d9e34341b9ba7d298bc6497615,
title = "Care avoidance among homeless people and access to care: an interview study among spiritual caregivers, street pastors, homeless outreach workers and formerly homeless people",
abstract = "BACKGROUND: Because of their poor health and social vulnerability, homeless people require specific care. However, due to care avoidance, homeless people are often not involved in care. This study aims to get insights into reasons for and kinds of care avoidance among homeless people and to provide suggestions to reach this target group.METHODS: Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted among street pastors (n = 9), spiritual caregivers (n = 9), homeless outreach workers (n = 7) and formerly homeless people (n = 3). Participants were recruited by purposive sampling in the four major cities in the Netherlands (Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam, The Hague). The verbatim transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis.RESULTS: The term care avoidance was perceived as stigmatizing. Care avoidance is found to be related to characteristics of the homeless person (e.g. having complex problems, other priorities) as well as of the system (e.g. complex system, conditions and requirements of organizations). The person-related characteristics suggestions to involve homeless persons include tailoring care and building relationships, which might even be prioritised over starting care interventions. Setting limits on behaviour without rejecting the person, and an attitude reflecting humanity, dignity and equality were also important factors in making care more accessible and lasting. As regards system-related characteristics, the suggestions include clear information and communication to homeless people who avoid care as being crucial in order to make care more accessible. Other suggestions include quiet and less busy shelters, a non-threatening attitude and treatment by professionals, self-reflection by professionals and finally a change of policy and legislation regarding available time.CONCLUSIONS: Reasons for care avoidance can be found in the interplay between both the individual and the system; measures to reduce care avoidance should be taken at both levels. These measures are centred on lowering the barriers to care inter alia by incorporating building trust and understanding into the care provided.",
keywords = "Care avoidance, Interview study, Homeless persons, Trust, Underserved, Understanding, Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration, Homeless Persons/psychology, Netherlands, Patient Acceptance of Health Care/psychology, Qualitative Research, Spirituality, end of life",
author = "Klop, {Hanna T} and Kirsten Evenblij and Gootjes, {Jaap R G} and {de Veer}, {Anke J E} and Onwuteaka-Philipsen, {Bregje D}",
year = "2018",
month = "9",
day = "5",
doi = "10.1186/s12889-018-5989-1",
language = "English",
volume = "18",
pages = "1095",
journal = "BMC Public Health",
issn = "1471-2458",
publisher = "BioMed Central",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Care avoidance among homeless people and access to care: an interview study among spiritual caregivers, street pastors, homeless outreach workers and formerly homeless people

AU - Klop, Hanna T

AU - Evenblij, Kirsten

AU - Gootjes, Jaap R G

AU - de Veer, Anke J E

AU - Onwuteaka-Philipsen, Bregje D

PY - 2018/9/5

Y1 - 2018/9/5

N2 - BACKGROUND: Because of their poor health and social vulnerability, homeless people require specific care. However, due to care avoidance, homeless people are often not involved in care. This study aims to get insights into reasons for and kinds of care avoidance among homeless people and to provide suggestions to reach this target group.METHODS: Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted among street pastors (n = 9), spiritual caregivers (n = 9), homeless outreach workers (n = 7) and formerly homeless people (n = 3). Participants were recruited by purposive sampling in the four major cities in the Netherlands (Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam, The Hague). The verbatim transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis.RESULTS: The term care avoidance was perceived as stigmatizing. Care avoidance is found to be related to characteristics of the homeless person (e.g. having complex problems, other priorities) as well as of the system (e.g. complex system, conditions and requirements of organizations). The person-related characteristics suggestions to involve homeless persons include tailoring care and building relationships, which might even be prioritised over starting care interventions. Setting limits on behaviour without rejecting the person, and an attitude reflecting humanity, dignity and equality were also important factors in making care more accessible and lasting. As regards system-related characteristics, the suggestions include clear information and communication to homeless people who avoid care as being crucial in order to make care more accessible. Other suggestions include quiet and less busy shelters, a non-threatening attitude and treatment by professionals, self-reflection by professionals and finally a change of policy and legislation regarding available time.CONCLUSIONS: Reasons for care avoidance can be found in the interplay between both the individual and the system; measures to reduce care avoidance should be taken at both levels. These measures are centred on lowering the barriers to care inter alia by incorporating building trust and understanding into the care provided.

AB - BACKGROUND: Because of their poor health and social vulnerability, homeless people require specific care. However, due to care avoidance, homeless people are often not involved in care. This study aims to get insights into reasons for and kinds of care avoidance among homeless people and to provide suggestions to reach this target group.METHODS: Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted among street pastors (n = 9), spiritual caregivers (n = 9), homeless outreach workers (n = 7) and formerly homeless people (n = 3). Participants were recruited by purposive sampling in the four major cities in the Netherlands (Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam, The Hague). The verbatim transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis.RESULTS: The term care avoidance was perceived as stigmatizing. Care avoidance is found to be related to characteristics of the homeless person (e.g. having complex problems, other priorities) as well as of the system (e.g. complex system, conditions and requirements of organizations). The person-related characteristics suggestions to involve homeless persons include tailoring care and building relationships, which might even be prioritised over starting care interventions. Setting limits on behaviour without rejecting the person, and an attitude reflecting humanity, dignity and equality were also important factors in making care more accessible and lasting. As regards system-related characteristics, the suggestions include clear information and communication to homeless people who avoid care as being crucial in order to make care more accessible. Other suggestions include quiet and less busy shelters, a non-threatening attitude and treatment by professionals, self-reflection by professionals and finally a change of policy and legislation regarding available time.CONCLUSIONS: Reasons for care avoidance can be found in the interplay between both the individual and the system; measures to reduce care avoidance should be taken at both levels. These measures are centred on lowering the barriers to care inter alia by incorporating building trust and understanding into the care provided.

KW - Care avoidance

KW - Interview study

KW - Homeless persons

KW - Trust

KW - Underserved

KW - Understanding

KW - Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration

KW - Homeless Persons/psychology

KW - Netherlands

KW - Patient Acceptance of Health Care/psychology

KW - Qualitative Research

KW - Spirituality

KW - end of life

U2 - 10.1186/s12889-018-5989-1

DO - 10.1186/s12889-018-5989-1

M3 - Article

VL - 18

SP - 1095

JO - BMC Public Health

JF - BMC Public Health

SN - 1471-2458

IS - 1

ER -