A place to heal: a qualitative focus group study of respite care preferences among individuals experiencing homelessness

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Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless, ISSN: 1053-0789, Vol: 26, Issue: 2, Page: 104-115

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Brian Park; Elizabeth Beckman; Catherine Glatz; Andrew Pisansky; John Song
Informa UK Limited
Social Sciences
article description
Homeless patients have longer hospital stays than housed persons due, in part, to a lack of safe discharge locations. Respite care for homeless individuals decreases hospital length of stay and readmissions rates. This study aimed to develop client-centered recommendations for medical respite care. We conducted four focus group interviews (n = 25 participants) between August 2010 and February 2013 of homeless adult residents in Minnesota. Four domains of respite care were identified from content analysis of interviews: physical, relational, facilitation, and amenities. Novel recommendations include (a) a facility equipped to address mental health and substance dependence needs, (b) a standardized training protocol for respite staff, (c) the creation of a patient advocate, and (d) the creation of a respite case manager to facilitate post-discharge instructions and connection to primary care and social services. These new and actionable recommendations could help inform policies and the development of future medical respite care facilities.