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Prenatal care for homeless women

Nicole Ruddock Hall, MD
Sheryl D Perriatt, BSN, RNC, FAACM
Casey W Hedges, LCSW
Section Editor
Vincenzo Berghella, MD
Deputy Editor
Vanessa A Barss, MD, FACOG


Homelessness disproportionately affects women and children: women represent approximately 80 percent of adults in homeless families in the United States [1]. Homeless women are at higher risk of having chronic illnesses, infectious diseases, substance abuse problems, mental illness, and being a victim of sexual or domestic violence than women who are not homeless [2,3]. They are also less likely to have insurance, social support, income, or access to preventive health services [4].

Attention to the following principles is likely to improve results when providing care for homeless people [5]:

Outreach to engage those in need of health care services

Respect for each patient, regardless of circumstances

Cultivation of trust and rapport between the health care provider and patient

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Literature review current through: Sep 2017. | This topic last updated: Jun 14, 2017.
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