Powered by: Blackwell Publishing

HRET - Health Research & Educational Trust

HSR - Health Services Research

Impacting Health Practice and Policy Through State-of-the-Art Research and Thinking

Our Next Issue

March 2018
Coming Soon! Read



ccuracy of Self-Reported Health Care Use in a Population-Based Sample of Homeless Adults

Free Access

Keywords: Homeless persons; health care utilization; self-report; administrative data.

Objective: To assess the accuracy of self-reported ambulatory care visits, emergency department (ED) encounters, and overnight hospitalizations in a population-based sample of homeless adults.

Data Source: Self-report survey data and administrative health care utilization databases.

Study Design: Self-reported health care use in the past 12 months was compared to administrative encounter records among 1,163 homeless adults recruited in 2004–2005 from shelters and meal programs in Toronto, Ontario.

Data Extraction Methods: Self-reported health care use was assessed using a structured face-to-face survey. Each participant was linked to administrative databases using a unique personal health number or their first name, last name, sex, and date of birth.

Principal Findings: The sensitivity of self-report for ambulatory care visits, ED encounters, and overnight hospitalizations was 89, 80, and 73 percent, respectively; specificity was 37, 83, and 91 percent. The mean difference between self-reported and documented number of encounters in the past 12 months was +1.6 for ambulatory care visits (95 percent CI = 0.4, 2.8), −0.6 for ED encounters (95 percent CI = −0.8, −0.4), and 0.0 for hospitalizations (95 percent CI = 0.0, 0.1).

Conclusions: Adults experiencing homelessness are quite accurate reporters of their use of health care, especially for ED encounters and hospitalizations.

back to top | back to article index | purchase full article

Copyright© 2017, Health Research & Educational Trust. All rights reserved. Content Disclaimer
Health Research & Educational Trust, 155 North Wacker, 4th Floor Chicago, IL 60606 (312) 422.2600