Brief Reports

Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 566-568

First online:

Changing attitudes toward homeless people

A curriculum evaluation
  • David BuchananAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, John Stroger Hospital of Cook County/Rush University Email author 
  • , Louis RohrAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, John Stroger Hospital of Cook County/Rush University
  • , Laura KehoeAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, John Stroger Hospital of Cook County/Rush University
  • , Susan B. GlickAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, John Stroger Hospital of Cook County/Rush University
  • , Sharad JainAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, San Francisco VA/University of California

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Abstract

We assessed the impact of a 2-week required rotation in homeless health care on primary care residents’ attitudes toward homeless people. Attitudes were assessed before and after the course using the Attitudes Toward Homelessness Inventory (ATHI), an instrument previously validated among undergraduate students. Attitude scores on the ATHI improved from 46 to 52 (range of possible scores 11 to 66; P=.001). The ATHI subscales showed, after the course, that residents had a greater belief that homelessness had societal causes and felt more comfortable affiliating with homeless people. After the course, residents also reported an increased interest in volunteering with homeless populations on an anonymous survey.

Key words

homeless persons attitude of health personnel medical education curriculum social medicine