SRF041: Knowledge and Attitudes of Individuals Experiencing Homelessness Regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Christine Dobbin


Context: While global disasters disproportionately impact individuals experiencing homelessness, such individuals have inconsistent access to public health information, resulting in limited health literacy.

Objective: This study serves to map the prevalence of health literacy among homeless populations during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Study Design: Cross-sectional study

Setting: Community-based

Population Studied: Individuals in three homeless shelters in Dallas County (n = 105)

Intervention/Instrument: Quantitative and qualitative survey

Outcome Measures: Knowledge of COVID-19 and public health guidelines, attitudes surrounding risk

Results: Results indicated high levels of awareness regarding the novel coronavirus, as 25% of respondents answered 80% of knowledge-based questions correctly and 50% answered 60% of knowledge-based questions correctly. A vast majority of respondents had access to a mask for personal use (96%), hand sanitizer (95%), and hand soap (99%), with 67% reporting the use of a mask at all times. While over half (55%) reported an interest in receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, a smaller proportion of respondents (36%) reported an increased interest in receiving a flu vaccine following the emergence of COVID-19. A significant proportion of those interested in a COVID-19 (64%) or flu vaccine (74%) were between the ages of 50-69. Additionally, levels of stress positively correlated with knowledge scores (r = 0.96; p < 0.009). Overall, most respondents (89%) felt as though their current shelter had good precautions in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Conclusions: These findings demonstrate the success of educational and precautionary public health measures implemented by Dallas County homeless shelters amidst the novel coronavirus pandemic.
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Jack 11/21/2020

great project. thanks

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