Factor structure and risk factors for the health status of homeless veterans
There are four major subgroups for health problems that homeless veterans have to contend with: addiction, psychosis, vascular disorders, and generalized medical and psychiatric illness. Conditions involving a combination of medical and psychiatric disorders (comorbidity) are common among this population. This study uses data from the same survey of homeless veterans that was used to establish the four subgroups with cluster analysis. This study examined the structure of these subgroup patterns through the use of factor analysis that yielded a five factor solution. They were named "Cardiac", Mood, Stress, Addiction, and Psychosis factors. Factor scores were computed and an odds ratio analysis was accomplished to determine the association between obtaining a high score on a given factor with a number of sociodemographic and homelessness related variables. The study concluded that health status of homeless veterans is a complex condition, but has a clear latent structure demonstrated by factor analysis. Scoring high or low on a particular factor is associated with numerous historical and sociodemographic considerations that include age, ethnicity, and employment status.
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