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Br J Community Nurs. 2011 Mar;16(3):134-9.

Addressing the health needs of the homeless.

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School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Brighton, Brighton.


Several authors have alluded to the complex health needs of the homeless population in the UK. The correlation between homelessness and a wide range of health problems has been explored in the literature. This paper presents a literature review exploring the biological, psychosocial and sexual health needs of single homeless people. The relationship between health and homelessness is analysed in relation to theories of health inequalities, which suggest that being homeless may be both a cause and a consequence of ill health. The contemporary nurse can play a vital role in helping to overcome the barriers that homeless people face when accessing health services. This paper explores the skills and approaches that nurses in a wide variety of settings can employ in addressing the health issues of homeless clients.

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