Retrospective Study of a Toronto-Based Palliative Care Program for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Background: Individuals experiencing homelessness face increased morbidity and mortality. The Canadian Toronto-based Palliative Education and Care for the Homeless (PEACH) program was launched to better support those experiencing homelessness with life-limiting illness. Objective: To describe the population served by PEACH. Methods: A chart review of deceased clients from 2014 to 2017 was conducted. Results: Sixty-three individuals were included in the analysis. 85.7% were male and the median age was 60 years. 35.4% resided in shelters, 26.2% in supportive/transitional housing; only 3.2% were sleeping on the streets. Cancer was the most common diagnosis (61.9%). 58.7% of clients had mental health diagnoses and 61.9% endorsed substance use. Locations of death included palliative care unit and hospice (44.4%), hospital (23.8%), supportive housing (12.6%), and shelter (7.9%). Discussion: PEACH serves diverse clientele with unique care needs. This study will inform further palliative care research and interventions for those experiencing homelessness.

publication date

  • August 1, 2021