Evid Based Nurs 5:124 doi:10.1136/ebn.5.4.124
  • Qualitative

Young homeless women encountered physical and individual barriers in obtaining health care

 QUESTION: What are the common sources of advice, health seeking behaviours, and self perceived barriers to health care of young homeless women?




Youth clinic within a community health clinic in Seattle, Washington, USA.


20 women between 14 and 23 years of age (mean age 18 y) who were homeless or had been homeless in the past 12 months.


Each woman had a semistructured interview with 1 of 2 research nurses about sources of advice, health seeking behaviours, and access to care issues. Each interview concluded with the nurse addressing the health concerns of the woman. Interviews were tape recorded and preliminarily analysed. 6 women were recruited from the larger group to participate in 3 focus groups to explore themes and topics identified during the interviews in more depth. Focus groups were also tape recorded. Women received US $5 for participating in the semistructured interviews and $10 for the focus groups.

Main findings

Sources of advice: most …

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