Acute alcohol use, history of homelessness, and intent of injury among a sample of adult emergency department patients

Katelyn K. Jetelina, Jennifer M.Reingle Gonzalez, Carlos V.R. Brown, Michael L. Foreman, Craig Field

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Background: The literature is clear that adults who are currently homeless also have higher rates of intentional injuries, such as assault and suicide attempts. No study has assessed whether intentional injuries are exacerbated because of substance use among adults with a history of homelessness. Methods: Data were obtained from a cohort of adults admitted to 3 urban emergency departments (EDs) in Texas from 2007 to 2010 (N = 596). Logistic regression analyses were used to determine whether a history of homelessness was associated with alcohol use at time of injury in intentional violent injuries (gunshot, stabbing, or injury consistent with assault). Results: 39% adults with a history of homelessness who were treated at trauma centers for a violent injury. Bivariate analyses indicated that adults who had ever experienced homelessness have 1.67 increased odds, 95% confidence interval (CI) [1.11, 2.50], of any intentional violent injury and 1.95 increased odds (95% CI [1.12, 3.40]) of a stabbing injury than adults with no history of homelessness. Conclusions: Adults who experienced homelessness in their lifetime were more likely to visit EDs for violencerelated injuries. Given our limited knowledge of the injuries that prompt ED use by currently homeless populations, future studies are needed to understand the etiology of injuries, and substance-related injuries specifically, among adults with a history of homelessness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)658-670
Number of pages13
JournalViolence and Victims
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016



  • Alcohol
  • Homelessness
  • Injury
  • Violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Health(social science)
  • Law

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