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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Mary Ellen Wurzbach, RN, MSN, PhD (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh)
Description: This is a book based on a PhD thesis in which a study of the life experiences and health practices of homeless men in Glasgow, Scotland are recounted. The structure of the book is similar to a research article with more detail and information.
Purpose: The purposes of the study were to present health profiles of the residents of a hostel in Glasgow and a comparison hostel in order to make assessments and referrals, and to evaluate their effect. In so doing, the author hoped to discover insights into the residents' experiences and lifestyles, and their interaction with health and nursing services.
Audience: According to the author's literature review there are few publications which document the life experiences of the homeless. For this reason, the book would be of interest to sociologists, anthropologists, and healthcare practitioners involved with the homeless, particularly in the U.K.
Features: The book is a description of the author's research study, detailing the review of the literature, the sample, questionnaires, methodology, and results. As the author notes, explanation is emphasized to decrease the technical nature of the book. Thus, although the research methodology is described, the results are the emphasis. The book is unique in at least two ways. First, few nursing research studies are written in book form and second, few books describe the experiences of the homeless.
Assessment: Through the creative use of qualitative and quantitative research methods the author examines the life experiences of homeless men. He not only brings an important phenomenon — homelessness — to our attention, but also an example of a well-planned and executed nursing research study. As an example of insightful nursing research with profound social relevance and implications, it is exemplary.