“This bachelor thesis aims at describing how an offer of free physiotherapy targeted at the homeless is experienced from a user-oriented perspective. The thesis also aims at gaining insight into how the offer impacts the health of the homeless. Using this insight, we wish to contribute new knowledge as to how physiotherapy can improve the health of the homeless."
This thesis is about how homeless people look after their own health and whether the homeless experience that an offer of free physiotherapy has an impact on the way in which they take care of their health. Getting information about the patients’ experience of health and illness is often difficult, and when dealing with homeless people it becomes even harder, as seeking out the homeless naturally requires extra effort. Strengths in the thesis’ way of handling the sources:In connection with the project, the group has carried out a general search as well as a systematic search on the topic, which is only described in the literature to a very limited degree. As preparation in advance of a more systematic search, the group has prepared a search profile. Take note of the following:As this thesis is based on Danish conditions, the group began its search for literature on Danish databases such as Bibliotek.dk and Artikelbasen to gain insight into what has been published on the thesis’ subject matter in Denmark.Furthermore, to get an overview of the current debates on the subject, the authors have conducted a broad search on Google. This could prove relevant in connection with the group’s interest in the user-oriented perspective, as the group in this way may, for example, come across interviews with homeless people as well as unofficially published information related to the thesis’ research question.The group has conducted direct searches on websites of Danish healthcare journals: Fysioterapeuten [The Physiotherapist], Hus Forbi [newspaper sold by the homeless covering issues of homelessness], Ugeskrift for læger (The Journal of the Danish Medical Association) as well as professional websites: Dansk Sygeplejeråd [Danish Nurses’ Organisation], Nationalt Forskningscenter for Velfærd [The Danish National Centre for Social Research] and Videnscenter for Socialpsykiatri [Danish Center for Research and Information of Mental Health]. From these portals, the group conducted chain searches based on the reference lists of chosen, relevant articles. This provided the group with ideas for keywords from which further searches could be carried out. As preparation for systematic searches for scientific articles in the databases CINAHL, PsycInfo and PubMed, the group set up a search-profile using relevant terms such as: homeless*, physiotherapy, “physical therapy”, health and intervention. The group looked up some of the keywords in the MeSH database and a thesaurus in order to ensure the right meaning of the term as well as suggestions for synonyms. Truncation symbols (*) were used for some of the search terms. Since the literature search yielded few but clear results, each article’s relevance was estimated, based on title and abstract among other things, and articles were not delimitated according to language and year. Moreover, the group has determined whether articles lived up to the requirements for sound scientific literature, based on Sundhedsstyrelsen’s [The Danish Health and Medicines Authority’s] Checklist for the Assessment of Evidence in Quantitative Studies, and Malterud’s Checklist for the Critical Reading of Qualitative Studies (Malterud 2003: Kvalitative metoder i medicinsk forskning).