• Journal Article

Unmet healthcare need among women who use methamphetamine in San Francisco

Citation

Powelson, E., Lorvick, J., Lutnick, A., Wenger, L., Klausner, J., & Kral, A. (2014). Unmet healthcare need among women who use methamphetamine in San Francisco. Substance Use and Misuse, 49(3), 243-252. DOI: 10.3109/10826084.2013.825919

Abstract

Methamphetamine use has increased substantially in the United States since the 1990s. Few studies have examined the healthcare service needs of women who use methamphetamine. This study describes unmet medical needs in a community-based sample of women who use methamphetamine in San Francisco, CA. Women who use methamphetamine were recruited in San Francisco and participated in a computer-assisted survey (N = 298 HIV-negative women). Multivariate analysis was performed to explore associations among sociodemographic variables, drug use, use of health and social services, and unmet healthcare need across three domains: chronic health problems, dermatologic problems, and women's preventive healthcare. Sixty-nine percent of participants reported a need for care for a chronic health condition, and 31% of them had an unmet need for care, in the last six months. Thirty-five percent of participants reported a need for dermatologic healthcare, and 66% had an unmet need for care in the last 6 months. Ninety-two percent of participants reported a need for women's preventive healthcare and 46% had an unmet need for care in the last year. Women who reported having a healthcare provider had lower odds of reporting an unmet need for a chronic health condition or women's preventive healthcare. Women who used a case manager had lower odds of having an unmet need for dermatologic care. A significant proportion of women who use methamphetamine in this sample had an unmet need for women's preventive healthcare, and overall these women had a significant unmet need for healthcare. These findings suggest that contact with a healthcare provider or a caseworker could help to expand access to healthcare for this vulnerable population