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What is prevalence?

Prevalence measures the proportion of individuals who have a disorder at a particular point in time (point prevalence) or during a specified period (annual prevalence, lifetime prevalence) and this may vary across regions. It is distinct from incidence, which refers to how many new cases there are per population in a specified time period. Lifetime prevalence is the number of individuals in a population that at some point in their life have experienced schizophrenia compared to the total number of individuals.

What is the evidence for the prevalence of schizophrenia in homeless populations?

Moderate quality evidence suggests the overall prevalence rate of any psychotic disorder in homeless people is around 21%. The prevalence rate of schizophrenia in particular is around 10%, which is higher in developing (22%) than developed (9%) countries.

Moderate quality evidence shows rates of schizophrenia in homeless populations varied across US cities, with rates higher in Los Angeles than in New York, which had higher rates than Philadelphia. Rates were generally higher in younger than older age-groups, higher in chronically homeless people, and higher in women than in men.

August 2020

Last updated at: 5:54 am, 24th August 2020
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Fact Sheet Technical Commentary

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Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.