SRF034: Implementation and Evaluation of a Student Curriculum on Patient Navigation for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness

Claire Abijay; Arlen Suarez, MD; Alison Liu, MD; Jawaher Azam; Rachel Kim; Pooja Mallipaddi; Thanos Rossopoulos, MD; Natalie Bonner, MS; Khiem Hoang; Nidhi Desai; Ali Khurram; Aaron Shi; Helena Zhang; Ashlyn Lafferty; Umaru Barrie, BS; Nicholas Campalans, BS; Nora Gimpel, MD; Philip Day, PhD; Patti Pagels, MPAS, PA


CONTEXT: Providing quality care in primary care settings for individuals experiencing homelessness requires an understanding of the barriers they face. This novel curriculum at UT Southwestern Medical School (UTSW) introduces students to the challenges experienced by homeless populations in Dallas, TX. Curriculum includes didactic sessions and immersion experiences regarding social determinants of health, healthcare access, ethical decision making, and motivational interviewing. OBJECTIVE: Evaluate curriculum efficacy in changing student attitudes of, knowledge about, and confidence in administering healthcare related services to homeless populations. HUMAN SUBJECT REVIEW: IRB exempt. STUDY DESIGN: Multi-year observational longitudinal study. Participant baseline data will be presented. Additional time points may not be available at time of conference. SETTING: UTSW medical and health professions students. INTERVENTION: Participation in six of seven 2-hour sessions and completion of either 1) a student-created navigation tool or 2) interview with a community provider. Pre and post-course surveys, consisting of mainly Likert scale questions, will be administered. OUTCOME MEASURES: Surveys measure 1) attitudes towards homelessness using the Health Professionals Attitude Toward the Homeless Inventory (HPATHI), 2) objective knowledge on homeless populations at national and regional levels, 3) local needs, and 4) self-efficacy in working with homeless individuals. ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Currently recruiting 32 students and collecting baseline data. Half of students are hypothesized to have prior experience volunteering with homeless populations. Intervention is expected to increase understanding of systemic inequities that result in homelessness, increase confidence in motivating patients to navigate the healthcare system, and improve attitudes toward homeless populations. CONCLUSIONS: Curriculum development focuses on increasing awareness and knowledge on homeless populations. The goal is to develop necessary skills in future healthcare professionals and primary care providers to advocate and provide quality care for individuals experiencing homelessness.

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