Lark Ford, Ph.D.
The purpose of my descriptive study was to examine the perception of readiness for discharge from a transitional living center of six homeless adult family members with cardiac conditions. Three constructs formed the framework for this study: (a) being homeless, (b) undergoing severe stress, and (c) being ready for discharge. Four data collection instruments used for this study included (a) a 10-item, Self-Perceived Stress Scale to assess perception of stress over a one-month time period; (b) a pencil-and-paper, self-description of respondents’ cardiac health condition over time; (c) a retrospective, medical chart review on each respondent; and (d) a one-hour, face-to-face interview with each study volunteer. Findings showed that all of the homeless participants experienced high levels of stress, yet those participants who resided in the transitional living center in their early and later months experienced higher levels of stress than those participants who resided in the transitional living center between 12 to 18 months. One key theme emerged regarding their perception toward readiness for discharge: being safe and securing housing. The adult members’ overall perception regarding their health contributed very little to their self-perceptions of being ready for discharge.
Associate Professor, Clinical