Author(s): Teesson M, Hodder T, Buhrich N
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To determine the 12-month prevalence of mental disorders among homeless people in inner Sydney and compare this data with data collected on homeless populations in other Western cities. METHOD: Representative sample of 210 homeless men and women in Sydney were interviewed using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (2.0). RESULTS: Seventy-three percent of men and 81\% of women met criteria for at least one mental disorder in the past year and 40\% of the men and 50\% of the women had at least two mental disorders. The prevalence rate of schizophrenia among men and women was 23\% and 46\%, respectively. There was considerable comorbidity between mental disorders with one in five men (20\%) and 29\% of women meeting criteria for two mental disorders. The prevalence of any mental disorder is four times higher among homeless men and women in inner Sydney than within the Australian general population. International comparisons demonstrated significant cross-cultural differences in the prevalence of mental disorders among the homeless. CONCLUSIONS: This paper highlights the need for comparable epidemiological data when examining an international problem such as homelessness.
This article was published in Aust N Z J Psychiatry
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy