Australian Health Review Australian Health Review Society
Journal of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association

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This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

Self-management of healthcare: integrated healthcare and supportive housing as a model to address systematic barriers as homeless, a multi-method study

Cameron Parsell , Charlotte ten Have , Michelle Denton , Zoe Walter

Abstract

Objectives: To examine tenants’ experiences of a model of integrated healthcare and supportive housing; to identify what integrated healthcare and supportive housing enables tenants compared to their healthcare access when homeless. Design, setting and participants: A mixed method survey design (n=75) and qualitative interview (n=20), September 2015 – August 2016. Participants were tenants of permanent supportive housing in Brisbane. Qualitative data were analysed thematically. Results: Integrated healthcare and supportive housing was a resource for tenants to overcome systematic barriers to accessing mainstream healthcare as homeless. As homeless, people did not have access to resources required to maintain their health. Homelessness meant not having a voice to influence the healthcare people received; healthcare practitioners treated symptoms of poverty. Integrated healthcare and supportive housing enabled tenants to receive treatment for health problems that were compounded by the barriers to accessing mainstream healthcare that homelessness represented. Conclusions: Extending the evidence about housing as a social determinant of health, the study shows that integrated healthcare and supportive housing enabled tenants to take control to self-manage their healthcare. In addition to homelessness directly contributing to ill-health, the study provides evidence of how the experience of homelessness contributes to exclusions from mainstream healthcare.

AH16277  Accepted 01 March 2017

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