Serving Our Homeless Veterans: Patient Perpetrated Violence as a Barrier to Health Care Access
Keywords:Homeless Veterans, Access, HUD-VASH, Patient Perpetrated Violence
AbstractIn 2009, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) set a goal to end veteran homelessness by 2015. Since then there has been a 36% reduction in homelessness due, in part, to the VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program. These services include the receipt of home-based services to the veterans’ home. However, safety concerns and the threat of violence toward health care workers remain problematic in non-institutional care settings. This article discusses the concept of access to care and how safety concerns act as a barrier to services and optimal patient outcomes. Our study provides information on the prevalence of patient violence toward health care workers in the HUD-VASH program in a large veterans’ health system. Results suggest 70% of home-based service providers were exposed to violence and aggression. Providing services to veterans outside of institutional care settings, and the goal of eradicating homelessness among veterans, warrants further examination of access barriers.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgment of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional, contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgment of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (see, The Effect of Open Access).