Screening Clinics for the Homeless: Evaluating Outcomes

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This study evaluated the outcomes of a series of health-screening clinics specifically developed to target the homeless population. Problems screened during this study were selected because of the high prevalence of each among the homeless and included hypertension, diabetes, anemia, tuberculosis, and foot problems. Screening clinics were developed and implemented by faculty and senior baccalaureate nursing students. Data were collected with a screening form that focused on risk factors and individual health history and by chart review. Two hundred fourteen clients were screened in 17 different screening clinics. Participation in the clinics ranged from 33 clients at a hypertension-screening clinic to 0 at one of the foot-screening clinics. Abnormalities were identified in 22% of the clients who were screened, and documentation was found that 80% of those with abnormalities received follow-up. Overall, the screening clinics appear to be an effective approach to disease prevention in a homeless population.