The Effect of Place of Service on Diabetic Screening Adherence in the Homeless Population

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This study examined the association between place of service and adherence to select diabetes screening measures in a homeless population. At a Midwestern metropolitan federally qualified health center (FQHC), 508 participants with diabetes and also experiencing homelessness were studied throughout calendar year 2018. Diabetes measures included controlled blood pressure, diabetic foot exam and hemoglobin A1C screening. Patients were seen at one of three locations: FQHC only, shelter only and both shelter and FQHC. After controlling for primary insurance, insurance status, homeless status, age group, ethnicity, primary language, race, sex and poverty level, a stepwise binary logistic regression demonstrated significant model improvement in A1c screening (p ≤ 0.001) and controlled blood pressure (p = 0.009) when place of service was added as a predictor. Specifically, results showed significant negative associations in screening adherence for shelter as compared to FQHC for both controlled blood pressure (OR = 0.40; 95% CI = 0.20–0.79; p = 0.009) and A1c screening (OR = 0.06; 95% CI = 0.03–0.16; p ≤ 0.001). Our results support the hypothesis that FQHC care results in higher rates of adherence than shelter only or FQHC and shelter combined care. The study addresses the gap in literature surrounding place of service and patient adherence. Recommendations for future research are included.

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Correspondence to William Jeffrey Canar.

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Wainwright, M.K., Earle, M., Kosog, K. et al. The Effect of Place of Service on Diabetic Screening Adherence in the Homeless Population. J Community Health 45, 73–80 (2020).

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  • Homelessness
  • FQHC
  • Diabetes
  • Adherence