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[Health problems of homeless people attending the outreach primary care surgeries in Amsterdam].
Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd 2001; 145(24):1156-60NT

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To describe the characteristics and health problems of homeless people.

DESIGN

Retrospective descriptive cross-sectional study at two primary care surgeries for the homeless in shelters in Amsterdam supported by the Municipal Health Service.

METHOD

During the period April 1997 to August 1999, the socio-demographics, reasons for encounter, medication, substance use and prevalence of HIV and lifetime tuberculosis were recorded in a standardised manner. Referrals to a shelter infirmary at the Salvation Army or a general hospital were investigated.

RESULTS

The study population (n = 364) had an average age of 43 years (SD: 12) and 84% of the population were men. During the first consultation the following problems presented: skin problems in 26% of the population (traumatic injury, infected wounds, tramp's feet, scabies, lice, abscess, cellulites and erysipelas) and respiratory infections in 21% of the population (sinusitis, acute bronchitis and pneumonia). Medication was requested by 9% of the population of which 63% preferred tranquillisers. Medication prescribed by other physicians was stated by 46% of the population (21% tranquillisers, 14% methadone). Alcohol dependency was present in 25% (n = 92) and drug dependency in 29% of the population (n = 105). Intravenous drug use was prevalent in 14% of the population. Of the drug users, 49% received addiction care as opposed to 2% of the alcoholics. HIV prevalence was 5% and the lifetime prevalence of tuberculosis was also 5%. Shelter infirmary admittance was indicated in 15% of the population (n = 53; 91% men), with a combination of trauma 38%, skin disease 38%, pneumonia 21% and tramp's feet 17%. Five homeless men (1.4%), alcoholic street dwellers, presented with various life-threatening health problems in an advanced stage.

CONCLUSION

Homeless people in Amsterdam have poor health and suffer from various problems. Outreach primary health care adjusted to the lifestyle and multiple health problems of the homeless was clearly very important for public health. Homeless alcoholics were not using addiction care services.

Authors+Show Affiliations

GG&GD, Postbus 2200, 1000 CE Amsterdam. laere@worldonline.nlNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

English Abstract
Journal Article

Language

dut

PubMed ID

11433664

Citation

van Laere, I R., and M C. Buster. "[Health Problems of Homeless People Attending the Outreach Primary Care Surgeries in Amsterdam]." Nederlands Tijdschrift Voor Geneeskunde, vol. 145, no. 24, 2001, pp. 1156-60.
van Laere IR, Buster MC. [Health problems of homeless people attending the outreach primary care surgeries in Amsterdam]. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2001;145(24):1156-60.
van Laere, I. R., & Buster, M. C. (2001). [Health problems of homeless people attending the outreach primary care surgeries in Amsterdam]. Nederlands Tijdschrift Voor Geneeskunde, 145(24), pp. 1156-60.
van Laere IR, Buster MC. [Health Problems of Homeless People Attending the Outreach Primary Care Surgeries in Amsterdam]. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2001 Jun 16;145(24):1156-60. PubMed PMID: 11433664.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - [Health problems of homeless people attending the outreach primary care surgeries in Amsterdam]. AU - van Laere,I R, AU - Buster,M C, PY - 2001/7/4/pubmed PY - 2001/8/24/medline PY - 2001/7/4/entrez SP - 1156 EP - 60 JF - Nederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde JO - Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd VL - 145 IS - 24 N2 - OBJECTIVE: To describe the characteristics and health problems of homeless people. DESIGN: Retrospective descriptive cross-sectional study at two primary care surgeries for the homeless in shelters in Amsterdam supported by the Municipal Health Service. METHOD: During the period April 1997 to August 1999, the socio-demographics, reasons for encounter, medication, substance use and prevalence of HIV and lifetime tuberculosis were recorded in a standardised manner. Referrals to a shelter infirmary at the Salvation Army or a general hospital were investigated. RESULTS: The study population (n = 364) had an average age of 43 years (SD: 12) and 84% of the population were men. During the first consultation the following problems presented: skin problems in 26% of the population (traumatic injury, infected wounds, tramp's feet, scabies, lice, abscess, cellulites and erysipelas) and respiratory infections in 21% of the population (sinusitis, acute bronchitis and pneumonia). Medication was requested by 9% of the population of which 63% preferred tranquillisers. Medication prescribed by other physicians was stated by 46% of the population (21% tranquillisers, 14% methadone). Alcohol dependency was present in 25% (n = 92) and drug dependency in 29% of the population (n = 105). Intravenous drug use was prevalent in 14% of the population. Of the drug users, 49% received addiction care as opposed to 2% of the alcoholics. HIV prevalence was 5% and the lifetime prevalence of tuberculosis was also 5%. Shelter infirmary admittance was indicated in 15% of the population (n = 53; 91% men), with a combination of trauma 38%, skin disease 38%, pneumonia 21% and tramp's feet 17%. Five homeless men (1.4%), alcoholic street dwellers, presented with various life-threatening health problems in an advanced stage. CONCLUSION: Homeless people in Amsterdam have poor health and suffer from various problems. Outreach primary health care adjusted to the lifestyle and multiple health problems of the homeless was clearly very important for public health. Homeless alcoholics were not using addiction care services. SN - 0028-2162 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/11433664/[Health_problems_of_homeless_people_attending_the_outreach_primary_care_surgeries_in_Amsterdam]_ L2 - https://medlineplus.gov/homelesshealthconcerns.html DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -