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Health status of homeless and marginally housed users of mental health self-help agencies.


The study discussed in this article investigated the health status of 310 homeless and marginally housed people to determine the usefulness of mental health self-help agencies (SHAs) in addressing their physical health needs. The study compared self-reported health problems among SHA users with similar reports and clinical assessments of other homeless or marginally housed populations. Findings indicate that frequencies of health problems among respondents were similar to those of other homeless or marginally housed groups and that the study group had a higher prevalence of HIV infection and tuberculosis than the general population. Because this hard-to-reach group actively seeks SHAs, these organizations may be uniquely suited to health outreach, education, testing, and treatment.

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