Homeless Patients' Experience of Satisfaction With Care

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This article explores homeless individuals' experiences of satisfaction with health care, and explores the interrelationship among experiences of being homeless, health perceptions of participants, and experiences of satisfaction with health care. It presents the findings of a phenomenological study that was conducted using participants selected from five sites in one southeastern state. Participant interviews were conducted at a nurse-managed primary health care clinic for homeless, at a night time soup-kitchen, and at three private, not-for-profit, homeless shelters in two different towns. The study was part of a larger study designed to develop and validate a reliable measure of client satisfaction with primary health care among homeless individuals. Face-to-face in-depth interviews with 17 homeless individuals were conducted, with the semistructured interview constituting the primary data source. Common themes were identified and the interrelationship of theme clusters was explored. Analysis of the data yielded five distinct themes that represent the lived experiences of satisfaction with health care. These themes were mediated and directly informed by five themes of homelessness and three themes of health identified in the shared experiences of the participants. The themes identified suggest that satisfaction with health care for homeless persons differs from currently identified dimensions of satisfaction with care, and that some aspects of homelessness are seen by participants as positive and health promoting.