Mental Illness in a Representative Sample of Homeless Men in Munich, Germany

Published in: European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, v. 246, no. 4, 1996, p. 185-196

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 1996

by Manfred M. Fichter, Manfred Koniarczyk, Annette Greifenhagen, Paul Koegel, Norbert Quadflieg, Hans-Ulrich Wittchen, Jörg Wolz

Concerns mental illness in a representative sample of homeless men in Munich, Germany. The Diagnostic Interview Schedule was used for diagnostic classification. Results from a representative urban sample of 146 homeless males showed that most were unmarried or divorced, had a relatively low level of school education, and had a long duration of homelessness. Lifetime prevalence rates for substance abuse were 92%, with 83% for alcohol dependence, 42% for affective disorders, 23% for anxiety disorders, and 12% for schizophrenia. Of the homeless males in Munich, 95% had at least one DMS-III axis I diagnosis. In comparison with representative community samples in the U.S., mental illness was much more frequent among homeless individuals in Munich. These findings can be useful for planning health care services for the homeless.

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