Addressing healthcare disparities in homeless neurosurgical patients: A comprehensive literature review on strategies for equitable care and improved outcomes

Albert Alan, Michelle Ennabe, James Withers, Neil Joshi, Martin Weinand

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Homelessness is a growing concern in the US, with 3.5 million people experiencing it annually and 600,000 on any given night. Homeless individuals face increased vulnerability to 30-day hospital readmissions and higher mortality rates, straining the healthcare system and exacerbating existing disparities. This study aims to inform neurosurgeons on evidence-based strategies to reduce readmission and mortality rates among homeless patients by reviewing the literature on the impact of medical respite on 30-day readmission rates. The study aims to gauge the efficacy of medical respite in reducing hospital readmissions and improving health outcomes for homeless individuals. Methods: A comprehensive literature search was conducted across PubMed, Embase/Medline, and Cochrane databases, as well as consulting the National Institute for Medical Respite Care and the Department of Health Care Access and Information. Ten articles were chosen from an initial 296 to investigate the impact of respite programs on readmission rates among homeless patients. Results: Homeless patients experience high readmission rates due to various factors. Interventions such as respite programs and a comprehensive approach to healthcare can lower these rates. Collaboration between hospitals and medical respites has proven particularly effective. Conclusion: Inadequate healthcare for homeless individuals leads to increased readmissions, longer hospital stays, and higher costs. Medical respites are a viable solution, but limited resources hamper their effectiveness. Therefore, it is crucial to facilitate cooperation between hospitals, respites, and other entities. Future research should focus on disparity in neurosurgical procedures and explore alternative services. An interdisciplinary approach is key to addressing healthcare inequalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number49
JournalSurgical Neurology International
Volume15
DOIs
StatePublished - 2024
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Healthcare disparities
  • Homelessness
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Medical respite
  • Neurosurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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