Australian Journal of Primary Health Australian Journal of Primary Health Society
The issues influencing community health services and primary health care
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Is there a role for pharmacists in multidisciplinary health-care teams at community outreach events for the homeless?

Vincent Chan A B C , Marea Patounas A , Debbie Dornbusch A , Hung Tran A and Patricia Watson A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A School of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Gardens Point, GPO 2434, Brisbane, Qld 4001, Australia.

B Present address: School of Medical Sciences, College of Science, Engineering and Health, RMIT University, PO Box 71, Bundoora, Vic. 3083, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email: vincent.chan@rmit.edu.au

Australian Journal of Primary Health 21(4) 379-383 https://doi.org/10.1071/PY14158
Submitted: 7 October 2014  Accepted: 31 December 2014   Published: 27 February 2015

Abstract

Homelessness is a significant public health problem. It is well-documented that people experiencing homelessness exhibit more serious illnesses and have poorer health than the general population. The provision of services and interventions by health-care professionals, including pharmacists, may make a simple yet important contribution to improved health outcomes in those experiencing homelessness, but evidence of roles and interventions is limited and variable. In Australia, the Queensland University of Technology Health Clinic connects with the homeless community by taking part in community outreach events. This paper provides details of one such event, as well as the roles, interventions and experiences of pharmacists. Participation and inclusion of pharmacists in a multidisciplinary health-care team approach at homeless outreach events should be supported and encouraged.

Additional keywords: health outcomes, homelessness, multidisciplinary teams.


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