A case study published in the Lancet, Public Health looked at the growing public health concern of homelessness and its relationship with traumatic brain injury.

The systematic review and meta-analysis examined original research studies that reported data on the prevalence or incidence of traumatic brain injury, or the association between traumatic brain injury or one or more health-related or function-related outcome measures.

The results of the study found that more than half of homeless and marginally housed individuals had a lifetime history of traumatic brain injury (TBI), and that almost a quarter of them had a history of moderate or severe traumatic brain injury. This lifetime prevalence of TBI in homeless and marginally house individuals was between 2.5 and 4 times higher than estimates in the general population. Similar to my log report on TBI in suicides, the study also found that TBI was associated with increased suicidal ideation and suicide risk. The authors stated, “TBI is a pervasive and largely under-recognized factor associated with poor health and functioning experienced by homeless and marginally housed populations. Our findings suggest that healthcare providers who work with these individuals should be aware of the high prevalence of TBI and associated effects on health and functioning…”

The authors concluded: “The lifetime prevalence of TBI is high among homeless and marginally housed individuals, and a history of TBI is associated with poorer health and general functioning. Health-care providers and public health officials should have an increased awareness of the burden of TBI in this population. Prospective and longitudinal studies are needed to better understand how the health of this population is affected by TBI.”

“Traumatic Brain Injury in Homeless and Marginally Housed Individuals: a Systematic review and Meta-Analysis. The Lancet Public Health, Vol 5, No. 1, 1-70 (January 2020). Stubbs JL, Thornton AE, Sevick JM, Silverberg,ND and Barr AM.

Here is a link to the paper: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpub/issue/vol5no1/PIIS2468-2667(19)X0013-4.