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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 100, Issue 5, pp 384–388 | Cite as

Level of Street Involvement and Health and Health Services Use of Calgary Street Youth

  • Catherine A. WorthingtonEmail author
  • Bruce J. MacLaurin
Quantitative Research
  • 1 Downloads

Abstract

Objectives

To examine differences in health risks, health outcomes and health services use of Calgary street-involved youth by level of street involvement to inform services planning.

Method

355 street-involved youth (61% male, 26% Aboriginal) completed surveys at a variety of outdoor and agency locations: 46% currently lived on the street, 33% had lived on the street in the past, and 20% were street-involved but had not lived on the street. Odds Ratios (OR) adjusted for sex, ethnocultural group, and age group were calculated for each health/health risk and health service factor by level of street involvement.

Results

With the exception of condom use, significant health and health risk outcome differences were seen by level of street involvement. Use of hospitals and walk-in clinics did not differ significantly by level of street involvement; however, youth living on the street were less likely (OR 0.2) than those who had not lived on the street to use a physician during office hours, and those who had lived on the street were more likely (OR 10.1) to use mobile clinics, services that are targeted to street-involved people.

Conclusion

Street-involved youth who had not lived on the street showed better health/health risk outcomes than those who currently or had lived on the street, and health services use showed some differences by level of street involvement. Public health and other service providers need to be cognizant of their role in providing prevention, safety or stabilization services for youth at different stages of street life.

Key words

Street youth health risks health services utilization community-based research 

Résumé

Objectifs

Examiner les écarts dans les risques sanitaires, les résultats cliniques et l’utilisation des services de santé par les jeunes de la rue de Calgary selon leur niveau d’itinérance, afin d’étayer la planification des services.

Méthode

Trois cent cinquante-cinq jeunes de la rue (de sexe masculin à 61 %, autochtones à 26 %) ont répondu à un sondage à divers endroits à l’extérieur et à l’intérieur d’organismes: 46 % vivaient actuellement dans la rue, 33 % y avaient déjà vécu, et 20 % n’y avaient pas vécu, mais fréquentaient le milieu. Nous avons calculé des rapports de cotes (RC) rajustés selon le sexe, le groupe ethnoculturel et le groupe d’âge pour chaque facteur de santé/de risque sanitaire et de service de santé selon le niveau d’itinérance des jeunes.

Résultats

À l’exception du port du condom, nous avons observé des écarts significatifs dans les résultats de santé et les risques sanitaires selon le niveau d’itinérance. La fréquentation des hôpitaux et des cliniques sans rendez-vous ne différait pas significativement selon le niveau d’itinérance, mais les jeunes vivant dans la rue étaient moins susceptibles (RC 0,2) que ceux qui n’avaient pas vécu dans la rue de consulter un médecin pendant les heures de bureau, et ceux qui avaient déjà vécu dans la rue étaient plus susceptibles (RC 10,1) de fréquenter les unités sanitaires mobiles (un service qui cible les personnes de la rue).

Conclusion

Les jeunes qui n’avaient pas vécu dans la rue affichaient de meilleurs résultats sur le plan de la santé et des risques sanitaires que ceux qui vivaient actuellement ou qui avaient déjà vécu dans la rue, et l’utilisation des services de santé variait quelque peu selon le niveau d’itinérance. Les intervenants en santé publique et autres fournisseurs de services doivent être conscients de leur rôle lorsqu’ils offrent des services de prévention, de sécurité ou de stabilisation aux jeunes à différents stades d’itinérance.

Mots clés

jeunes de la rue risques sanitaires utilisation des services de santé recherche en milieu communautaire 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine A. Worthington
    • 1
    Email author
  • Bruce J. MacLaurin
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Social WorkUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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