Are Rates of Psychiatric Disorders in the Homeless Population Changing?

Carol S North, Karin M. Eyrich, David E. Pollio, Edward L. Spitznagel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


Objectives. We examined the prevalence of psychiatric illness among 3 homeless populations in St. Louis, Mo, in approximately 1980, 1990, and 2000. The 3 studies were conducted with the same systemic research methodology. Methods. We compared selected demographics and lifetime substance abuse and dependence and other mental illness among the 3 populations. Results. Among the homeless populations we studied, the prevalence of mood and substance use disorders dramatically increased, and the number of minorities within these populations has increased. Conclusions. The prevalence of psychiatric illness, including substance abuse and dependence, is not static in the homeless population. Service systems need to be aware of potential prevalence changes and the impact of these changes on service needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-108
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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