Subjective Quality of Life Among Individuals who are Homeless: A Review of Current Knowledge

The purpose of this article was to review the current literature on subjective quality of life (SQOL) in individuals who are homeless, with a focus on differences in SQOL (a) between homeless individuals and the general population, (b) based on housing situation, and (c) associated with demographic characteristics (such as age and gender), physical and mental health, and external variables such as service program type. A literature search was conducted of the online databases PubMed and PsycInfo for relevant studies published from January 1981 to August 2011. Although this review showed that individuals who are homeless tended to have lower levels of SQOL compared to the general population or housed individuals, it was also evident that our current understanding of the relationships between SQOL and various demographic, health, and other variables is based on very limited information. More information about the relationships between various characteristics and experiences of individuals who are homeless and SQOL is clearly needed to aid researchers, service providers, and policy-makers in addressing the needs of this population and examining the effectiveness of interventions to end homelessness and improve health among homeless individuals.

Publication Date: 
January 22, 2012
Journal Name: 
Social Indicators Research