Lifetime, 5-year and past-year prevalence of homelessness in Europe: A cross-national survey in eight European nations

BMJ Open Dec 10, 2019

Taylor O, Loubiere S, Tinland A, et al. - Researchers investigated the lifetime, 5-year, and past-year prevalence of homelessness among European citizens in eight European nations (France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden) via performing a nationally representative telephone survey using trained bilingual interviewers and computer-assisted telephone interview software. Participants comprised European adult citizens, selected from opt-in panels from March to December 2017. The total desired sample size was 5,600, with 700 per country. The expected response rates of nearly 30% resulted in initial sample sizes of 2,500 per country. Response rates varied from 30.4% to 33.5% (n = 5,631). As per outcomes, the surveyed nations had a significantly higher prevalence of homelessness than those expected from point-in-time and homeless service use statistics. The eight nations varied substantially in estimated prevalence. Coupled with the well-established health impact of homelessness, medical professionals need to be aware of the increased health risks of those with experience of homelessness. These outcomes may help to inform policies intending to enhance health services for people exposed to homelessness.

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