Healthcare Barriers and Utilization Among Adolescents and Young Adults Accessing Services for Homeless and Runaway Youth

Gayathri Chelvakumar, Nancy Ford, Hillary M. Kapa, Hannah L H Lange, Annie Laurie McRee, Andrea E. Bonny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Homeless and runaway youth are at disproportionate risk for adverse health outcomes. Many barriers to accessing healthcare have been documented; however, the relative impact of discrete barriers on homeless youth healthcare utilization behavior is not firmly established. We administered a survey examining reported barriers and healthcare utilization among adolescents and young adults accessing services at three community centers for homeless and runaway youth. Of 180 respondents, 57 % were male, 80 % non-White, and 21 % identified as a sexual minority. Stepwise logistic regression models, controlling for age and study site, explored associations between barriers and 3 healthcare utilization outcomes (doctor visit in past 12 months; regular care provider; frequent emergency department (ED) visits). The most commonly reported barriers were “don’t have a ride” (27.2 %), “no insurance” (23.3 %), and “costs too much” (22.8 %). All fear-based barriers (e.g., “I don’t trust the doctors”) were reported by <5 % of surveyed youth. Significant predictors of having seen a doctor in the past 12 months included sexual minority status (OR 2.8, p = 0.04) and possession of health insurance (OR 4.9, p < 0.001). Female sex (OR 5.2, p < 0.001) and reported external barriers other than health insurance (OR 0.2, p < 0.001) were associated with having a regular care provider. Fear-based concerns were associated (OR 3.8, p = 0.02) with frequent ED visits, as was being insured (OR 2.2, p = 0.03). These results underscore the need to clearly define healthcare outcomes when investigating barriers to care among homeless and runaway youth as the impact of discrete barriers varies depending on outcome of focus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Community Health
Volume42
Issue number3
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Nov 5 2016

Keywords

  • Barriers
  • Healthcare
  • Homeless
  • Youth

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Healthcare Barriers and Utilization Among Adolescents and Young Adults Accessing Services for Homeless and Runaway Youth'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this