Health Care Utilization in Homeless Youth
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- Evans, Y.N., Handschin, S.M. & Giesel, A.E. J Community Health (2014) 39: 521. doi:10.1007/s10900-013-9789-3
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To examine common reasons for utilization of health care services at a free homeless youth clinic. This is a retrospective chart review for visits over a 1 year period. Data on age, gender, and up to 3 chief complaints per visit were collected from the electronic medical record. Of the 744 clinical encounters, the mean age of youth was 18.8 years and 53.2 % involved female patients. The most common reasons for utilizing services include screening and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STI) 14.3 %, physical exam for housing 13.7 %, dermatologic complaints 13.5 %. Chief complaints were different for males and females (p ≤ 0.001). Females were more likely to receive laboratory testing for STI than males (p ≤ 0.001). Females were most likely to seek care for sexual and reproductive health needs and males were more likely to come for acute concerns. These differences can inform providers working with this vulnerable population.