Co-designing a training package to promote health/oral health for people experiencing homelessness

A. Rodriguez (Lead / Corresponding author), C. Biazus Dalcin, N. Mc Goldrick, L. van Blerk, C. Murray, R. Freeman

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Background: In Scotland, 31,333 households were assessed as experiencing homelessness in 2019/20. This population present high morbidity and mortality which is a public health issue. Their health needs have been identified within Scottish policy as part of the broad goal of reducing inequalities and poverty. Those experiencing homelessness face multiple exclusions that must be addressed by practitioners from all health and social care sectors. Frontline staff have identified they often do not have adequate information and/or training on wider health issues linked with their client's needs. The aim of this research is to co-produce training resources to support front-line staff to discuss and to promote health and oral health.

Methods: Community-based participatory research that used online workshops to listen to the views of people with lived experience, practitioners and students from health and third sector, and policy makers regarding accessibility of services and practitioner approach towards those experiencing homelessness. Content analysis will be used to identified recurrent themes.

Results: The preliminary findings shown that lack of empathy from practitioners, continuity of care and stigma are barriers to access services. This is informing a co-designed knowledge exchange training packaged to help practitioners to improve knowledge and ability to promote health/oral health and to engage with people experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. Educational materials (e-book on health promotion, comics books on barriers to access services, and a guide to promote oral health) compose this training package.

Conclusions: The training package allows adaptations to different settings and contexts and will be an important resource to be used by practitioners from different fields to prevent and tackle homelessness. Participants are sharing important views related to the need of a human rights and social justice-based approach to health promotion.

Key messages
Development of a co-designed knowledge exchange training package to improve practitioners' knowledge and ability to communicate and to engage with people experiencing homelessness.

To empower people experiencing homelessness regarding positive health/oral health behavior change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)iii139-iii140
Number of pages2
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue numberSupplement 3
Early online date20 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021
Event14th European Public Health Conference: Public health futures in a changing world - Virtual event
Duration: 10 Nov 202112 Nov 2021


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