Nav: Home

Study of newly homeless ED patients finds multiple contributors to homelessness

September 11, 2019

DES PLAINES, IL -- A qualitative study of recently homeless emergency department (ED) patients found multiple contributors to homelessness that can inform future homelessness prevention interventions. The study findings are published in the September 2019 issue of Academic Emergency Medicine (AEM), a journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM).

The lead author of the study is Kelly M. Doran, MD, MHS, assistant professor in the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Population Health at NYU School of Medicine and and Bellevue Hospital Center.

The study is the first to examine pathways to homelessness among ED patients. The findings of the study are discussed in a recent AEM podcast, "It Wasn't Just One Thing": A Qualitative Study of Newly Homeless Emergency Department Patients."

Homelessness plays an oversized role in U.S. EDs, in part due to the ED's role as a medical and social safety net and in part due to the greater than average health needs of people who are homeless. The researchers found that among the contributors to homelessness are unexpectedness, health and social conditions, lack of support from family or friends, and structural issues such as the job market and affordable housing availability.

The findings demonstrate gaps in current homeless prevention services and can help inform future interventions for unstably housed and homeless ED patients. More broadly, the findings may help ED providers to better understand the life experiences of their patients that contribute to their health and ED use.

Commenting on the study is Lewis R. Goldfrank, MD, Herbert W. Adams Professor of Emergency Medicine at Bellevue Hospital Center and the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine of the New York University School of Medicine:  

"This fascinating qualitative study demonstrates that listening carefully to our patient's needs will allow us to discern social determinants that left unattended may lead to homelessness. Our task in the emergency department is to presume that each patient who comes to our doors is there because of a critical lesion in the public health system. In addressing these lesions, we will begin to achieve our dreams of preventing homelessness."
-end-
ABOUT ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE

Academic Emergency Medicine, the monthly journal of Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, features the best in peer-reviewed, cutting-edge original research relevant to the practice and investigation of emergency care. The above study is published open access and can be downloaded by following the DOI link: 10.1111/acem.13677. Journalists wishing to interview the authors may contact Stacey Roseen at sroseen@saem.org.

ABOUT THE SOCIETY FOR ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE

SAEM is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to the improvement of care of the acutely ill and injured patient by leading the advancement of academic emergency medicine through education and research, advocacy, and professional development. To learn more, visit saem.org.

Society for Academic Emergency Medicine

Related Emergency Department Articles:

Emergency department admissions of children for sexual abuse
This study analyzed emergency department admissions of children for sexual abuse between 2010 and 2016 using a nationwide database of emergency visits and US Census Bureau data.
30-day death rates after emergency department visits
Researchers used Medicare data from 2009 to 2016 to see how 30-day death rates associated with emergency department visits have changed.
Preventing smoking -- evidence from urban emergency department patients
A new study from the Prevention Research Center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation offers a more in-depth understanding of smoking among patients in an urban emergency department.
When a freestanding emergency department comes to town, costs go up
Rather than functioning as substitutes for hospital-based emergency departments, freestanding emergency departments have increased local market spending on emergency care in three of four states' markets where they have entered, according to a new paper by experts at Rice University.
Emoji buttons gauge emergency department sentiments in real time
Simple button terminals stationed around emergency departments featuring 'emoji' reflecting a range of emotions are effective in monitoring doctor and patient sentiments in real time.
Is caregiver depression associated with more emergency department visits by patients with dementia?
An observational study of 663 caregivers and the patients with dementia they care for suggests caregiver depression is associated with increased emergency department visits for their patients.
Physical and mental illnesses combined increase emergency department visits
People with both physical illnesses and mental disorders visit the emergency department more frequently than people with multiple physical illnesses or mental illness alone, according to a study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
Reducing overtesting in the emergency department could save millions
A new study finds there's excessive imaging testing being performed in the emergency department.
Canadian pediatric emergency department crowding not linked to death, serious adverse outcomes
Visiting a crowded pediatric emergency department in Canada may increase the likelihood of being hospitalized but is not linked to delayed hospitalization or death in children, according to research in CMAJ.
Obese children over a third more likely to require a hospital emergency department visit
New research presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Glasgow, Scotland (April 28-May 1) reveals that obese children are over a third more likely to require a hospital emergency department visit than their normal weight counterparts.
More Emergency Department News and Emergency Department Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Risk
Why do we revere risk-takers, even when their actions terrify us? Why are some better at taking risks than others? This hour, TED speakers explore the alluring, dangerous, and calculated sides of risk. Guests include professional rock climber Alex Honnold, economist Mariana Mazzucato, psychology researcher Kashfia Rahman, structural engineer and bridge designer Ian Firth, and risk intelligence expert Dylan Evans.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#541 Wayfinding
These days when we want to know where we are or how to get where we want to go, most of us will pull out a smart phone with a built-in GPS and map app. Some of us old timers might still use an old school paper map from time to time. But we didn't always used to lean so heavily on maps and technology, and in some remote places of the world some people still navigate and wayfind their way without the aid of these tools... and in some cases do better without them. This week, host Rachelle Saunders...
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dolly Parton's America: Neon Moss
Today on Radiolab, we're bringing you the fourth episode of Jad's special series, Dolly Parton's America. In this episode, Jad goes back up the mountain to visit Dolly's actual Tennessee mountain home, where she tells stories about her first trips out of the holler. Back on the mountaintop, standing under the rain by the Little Pigeon River, the trip triggers memories of Jad's first visit to his father's childhood home, and opens the gateway to dizzying stories of music and migration. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.