People who are homeless experience a disproportionately high lifetime prevalence of traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to a new UBC-led study published today in The Lancet Public Health.
The meta-analysis--which looked at 38 studies published between 1995 and 2018--is the first to look at the prevalence of TBI in people who are homeless or in unstable housing situations.
The results suggest that one in two (53 per cent) homeless people experience a TBI, and one in four (25 per cent) experience a TBI that is moderate or severe.
After comparing their estimates to studies of the general population, the researchers estimate that the lifetime prevalence of TBI in people who are homeless and in unstable housing situations could potentially be up to four times higher than in the general population. Meanwhile, the lifetime prevalence of moderate or severe TBI in this population could be nearly 10 times higher than estimates in the general population.
Based on the data they analysed, the researchers were unable to determine whether TBI increased the risk of homelessness or whether homelessness increased the risk of TBI. While more research is needed to better understand the relationship, the researchers say the findings suggest that providing stable housing might lower the risk for TBI.
to read about the insights of this Canadian study.