Online Program

Barriers to reducing health disparities in a primary care curriculum for the underserved

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 3:10 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Elliot Montgomery Sklar, PhD, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Kristi Messer, MSW, MPH, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL
As the need for medical education programs devoting time and resources to care for the underserved becomes more apparent, the need for effective programs and accurate measures of that effectiveness is being realized. Attitudes of health professionals and medical students have been shown to affect the decision of pursuing careers in care for the underserved. These attitudes have changed over the course of medical school sometime for the positive and sometimes for the negative. Tools such as the Attitudes Towards the Homeless Questionnaire (ATHQ) and the Health Professionals Attitudes Towards Homeless Inventory (HPATHI) have been created to assess these changes over time. Through the use of these tools medical students' attitudes have shown to both become more positive and more negative throughout their training. Based on prior comparisons, the HPATHI was chosen to represent the attitudes of the medical students in an assessment of medical student attitudes. An addendum was then created in an effort better understand the variability in outcomes that have previously been documented. This addendum utilizes both proximity of experience to the homeless in the following four categories of: Awareness, Personal Experience, Volunteer Experience and Direct Care Experience. Additionally, the frequency of those experiences through a five-point Likert scale from ‘Never' to ‘Very Often' was determined. Comparative data from this tool will be reported on medical students across four years of their training and implications of proximity and frequency of experience with homeless individuals towards medical student attitudes discussed for further research opportunities.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the need for primary care curriculums to train students to care for underserved populations , factors associated with the quality of primary care for the underserved and current measures to determine that quality of care Compare research findings to date regarding primary care student experience with homeless individuals as a factor to the quality of primary care and the relationship of experience to student attitudes regarding homeless individuals Explain the development and adaptation of HPATHI tool (HPAETHI) to include the components of proximity and frequency of experience of homeless individuals to better define the relationship of experience with homeless individuals on student attitudes toward the homeless

Keyword(s): Homelessness, Assessments

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a record of presentations and publications on the topic of homelessness and vulnerable populations related to education, research and practice. I have implemented curricula and programming relevant to this and other areas of public health disparities through the lifespan. I am an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at Nova Southeastern University and hold South Florida’s first awarded PhD in Public Health in 2008 from Florida International University.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.