Psychosocial care and healthcare for the homeless population: an integrative review

Lívia Bustamante van Wijk Elisabete Ferreira Mângia About the authors

Abstract

The homeless population has physical and mental health issues and is exposed to conditions that lead to vulnerabilities, premature mortality, difficulty of access to basic services, all of which demands intersectoral actions. Outreach homeless clinics are components of Primary Health Care of the psychosocial health services network and play an important role in healthcare for this group. The goals of this integrative review are to assess health actions directed to this population, identify if actions result from dialogue between health service providers and the population attended and if such actions are sufficient to cater to their needs. Initially, 264 related papers were located, 27 of which were pre-selected and a further 11 were selected using pre-defined criteria. The findings were divided into 3 categories: 1) Characteristics of health actions seeking to cater to the needs of the homeless population; 2) Factors limiting health actions that restrict the care to the needs of this population; 3) Participation of the homeless population in the planning and execution of actions provided by the health services. The studies show advances in access to basic rights and provide input that support initiatives to enhance and strengthen the provision of intersectoral care to this population.

Key words
Homeless population; Health; Mental health; Intersectoriality

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