Tompkins et al (2003) aims are as stated in the title, they sought to identify statistical differences between problematic drug/alcohol use, and mental health problems (independent variables) associated with migrancy patterns (dependent variables). They state that the patterns of migrancy are different for problematic alcohol users and problematic drug users, with no significant difference for the migration for mental health (p…
Whilst looking at interactions of factors and an overview of their interdependence.
The authors identify the limits of defining homelessness in its broadest sense (p.446) and are not limited to those in priority needs, as set out in the homeless act (2002). They look at migrancy as opposed to mobility and the literature review gives a comprehensive account of homelessness and differentiates between aspects of migrancy to that of mobility. It looks at the difficulties of providing continuity of social and primary healthcare with these complex groups. and provides the background for which the present study is based. They also give a clear definition of homeless, along with supportive material, Shelter, Royal College of Practioners (RCP), HMSO etc with variable statistics and key journal publications,. with the majority of the material referred to being within ten years of the paper being published. Good use of comparative illustrations, with clear definitions of the terms they are using e.g. migrancy including acknowledging the limitations of this article and that limited research has been done between health status and migrancy in homeless populations (p.447) They state how this article fits into a wider understanding of the interrelationships of the key factors and why this study is important. .
From this Tompkins et al provides the rationale for the study with the need to identify migrancy behaviour from place of birth (PLOB) and measured. In this context the authors are concerned with identifying PLOB as an important aspect of information regarding migratory behaviour that can be readily elicited and recorded in a primary care consultation, with overall findings leading to a more informed health policy, and improved health/social services for homeless people. (447)
As no hypothesis was stated the aims influenced the research method and with this type of study, an appropriate research method was used (cross-sectional design) it allowed the researchers the flexibility of collecting data from the different groups at various stages of their homelessness. It also allows a comparatively large amount of information to be collected over a relatively short space of time, with lower financial implications (Parahoo 1997). It focuses on numerical data and is a valid tool for the proposed study undertaken.
The inclusion criteria was a random sample of 522 consecutive new homeless patients (over16yrs) registering to a health centre for homeless people in Leeds, over 18 months period with PLOB recorded on a Computerised Medical information System.
The sample size being large enough over the time period for any sampling error to decrease over time, with any differences existing between the groups detected ...
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