Nursing management of people experiencing homelessness at the end of life
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Nursing management of people experiencing homelessness at the end of life

Wendy Ann Webb Queen’s nurse, doctoral student, Institute of Health and Society, St John’s Campus, University of Worcester, Worcester, England
Theresa Mitchell Associate professor of nursing, Institute of Health and Society, St John’s Campus, University of Worcester, Worcester, England
Brian Nyatanga Senior lecturer, Institute of Health and Society, St John’s Campus, University of Worcester, Worcester, England
Paul Snelling Principal lecturer in adult nursing, Institute of Health and Society, St John’s Campus, University of Worcester, Worcester, England

Homelessness is a complex and multidimensional issue often involving a combination of personal vulnerability, the limitations of social housing, and inadequacies in welfare support. Providing palliative and end-of-life care to people experiencing homelessness is challenging, both to individuals receiving care and nurses aiming to meet their complex needs. This article discusses what is understood by the concept of ‘homelessness’ and examines the barriers to accessing effective healthcare for people who are homeless and have life-limiting conditions. The authors review the research into end of life care for people experiencing homelessness and identify areas for further investigation, notably the lack of evidence regarding the end of life care priorities of these individuals. There is a focus on the availability of healthcare services for people who are homeless at the end of life, as well as the factors that should be considered if evidence-based healthcare services for this group of people are to be improved in the future.

Nursing Standard. 32, 27,53-63. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11070

Correspondence

wendy@registerednurses.com

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

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Received: 19 November 2017

Accepted: 11 January 2018