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Changing the Stigma of the Homeless in Nursing Students

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Title:Changing the Stigma of the Homeless in Nursing Students
Authors:Ohara, Laura
Contributors:Daub, Katharyn (instructor)
Ayers-Kawakami, Jeanette (instructor)
Keywords:Homeless persons
Medical care
Date Issued:16 May 2019
Abstract:Stigmatization of individuals and groups of people can directly affect their health. Ideally, health professionals are blind to stigmatizing patients in their care and would provide them with the same attention, resources, and care. However, many studies have observed that stigma exists among healthcare providers and that stigmatization affects the care provided. Stigmatizing patients by healthcare workers leads to poorer health outcomes and social isolation. A review of the literature discovered a recurrent theme of how nurses’ negative perception of the homeless client acted as a barrier to them accessing healthcare.
Given that Hawai‘i has the highest homeless rate per capita in the U.S. and that homeless individuals have multiple health needs, healthcare professionals will encounter homeless people in their practice. It is therefore imperative to train future healthcare providers to deliver ethical, compassionate care without prejudice and stigma to persons who are homeless. Interventions to decrease stigmatization from healthcare providers of vulnerable population would theoretically increase compassionate care and improve health outcomes.
The purpose of this project was to develop and pilot a multi-modal education seminar in an undergraduate nursing program to alter perceptions of homeless persons and decrease stigmatization. An analysis of the participants’ perceptions of the homeless before and after the education seminar demonstrated a statistically significant decrease in stigma of the homeless particularly in the 20-30 year-old age range. The pilot project provided evidence that a multi-modal educational seminar can impact stigma perceptions. Further expansion to a larger sample group of students is recommended.
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Appears in Collections: DNP Practice Inquiry Projects

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