Homelessness is an increasing problem worldwide. The system for providing medical care to individuals experiencing homelessness is currently a patchwork of multiple different agencies. Many individuals do not utilize routine primary care (PC) services, instead present to emergency departments for nonemergent care. A systematic literature review was conducted using Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, CINAHL Plus with Full Text, Consumer Health Complete – EBSCOhost, and PsycINFO from 2014-2019 with the exception of Cochrane which was searched from 2009-2019, to evaluate if tailored PC clinics focused on providing PC services with additional supports to homeless individuals were more effective at engaging homeless individuals in ongoing PC services. A total of 67 articles were reviewed in full, and 23 of those were used to answer the research question. Homeless tailored PC services were found to increase access and improve ongoing PC use, reduce emergency department use for nonemergent reasons, and reduced annual costs for care. Advanced practice registered nurses are well suited to fill the gaps by providing PC services in shelters and in supportive housing facilities. An additional finding within the literature was that stable housing, with or without additional supports, was found to be the most effective intervention for improving access to healthcare and overall health outcomes. Further research and policy need to focus on helping individuals achieve permanent stable housing, and the role of tailored PC services within this housing.


Rhonda Cornell

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing


Allied Health and Nursing



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In Copyright