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A multi-dimensional assessment of the health needs of homeless infants and pre-school children in Phoenix

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The dual purpose of this study was to identify the comprehensive health needs of a selected group of homeless children in Phoenix, Arizona, and to utilize the findings in developing needed services. A non-random sample of 60 infants and pre-school children were given on-site physical, dental, developmental, behavioral, and nutritional assessments. The study included Medicaid's Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment procedures, complete oral screening, the Denver Developmental and Denver Articulation Screening Test, the Pre-school Behavior Inventory, and parental interviews. Fifty-eight of the 60 children screened needed further evaluation, treatment, or followup services. The most significant problems included low hematocrit readings, inadequate immunizations, and untreated medical and dental problems specific to this age group. Also identified were developmental delays and potential behavior problems. It is imperative that aggressive outreach and followup services be developed to reach homeless children and to insure that needed interventions are provided.

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Correspondence to Phyllis J. Primas.

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Primas, P.J., Baca, G., Petticrew, D.A. et al. A multi-dimensional assessment of the health needs of homeless infants and pre-school children in Phoenix. J Soc Distress Homeless 2, 61–72 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01072432

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Key words

  • health
  • homeless children