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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2019 Aug 5. doi: 10.1111/acps.13082. [Epub ahead of print]

Risk of homelessness after discharge from psychiatric wards in Denmark: a nationwide register-based cohort study.

Author information

1
Copenhagen Research Center for Mental Health - CORE, Mental Health Centre Copenhagen, Copenhagen University Hospital, Hellerup, Denmark.
2
iPSYCH - The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrated Psychiatric Research, Aarhus, Denmark.
3
The National Centre for Register-Based Research, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.
4
Department of Public Health, Section of Epidemiology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
5
Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the absolute and relative risk of homelessness following discharge from psychiatric wards in Denmark.

METHODS:

A nationwide, register-based, cohort study including people aged 18+ years discharged from psychiatric wards in Denmark between 1 January 2001 and 31 December 2015. We analysed associations between psychiatric diagnoses and risk of homelessness using survival analysis.

RESULTS:

A total of 126 848 psychiatric in-patients were included accounting for 94 835 person-years. The incidence of homelessness one year following discharge was 28.18 (95% CI 26.69-29.75) and 9.27 (95% CI 8.45-10.16) per 1000 person-years at risk in men and women respectively. The one-year cumulative probability of first homelessness after discharge from psychiatric wards was 1.58% (95% CI 1.48-1.68) in males and 0.55% (95% CI 0.50-0.61) in females. Substance use disorders increased the risk of homelessness after discharge with adjusted incidence rate ratios of 6.60 (95% CI 5.19-8.40) (men) and 13.06 (95% CI 9.31-18.33) (women), compared with depressive disorders. Prior history of homelessness was an important predictor for homelessness following discharge.

CONCLUSIONS:

The first year following discharge from psychiatric wards is a high-risk period of homelessness, especially when having a substance use disorder or a prior history of homeless shelter contact. Improved efforts to prevent homelessness are needed.

KEYWORDS:

epidemiology; homelessness; psychiatric discharge

PMID:
31385289
DOI:
10.1111/acps.13082

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