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The impact of being homeless on the clinical outcomes of COVID-19: Systematic review

Ogbonna, Obianuju, Bull, Francesca, Spinks, Bethany, Williams, Denitza ORCID:, Lewis, Ruth and Edwards, Adrian ORCID: 2023. The impact of being homeless on the clinical outcomes of COVID-19: Systematic review. International Journal of Public Health 68 , 1605893. 10.3389/ijph.2023.1605893

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Objective: The homeless population experiences inequality in health compared with the general population, which may have widened during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the impact of being homeless on the outcomes of COVID-19 is uncertain. This systematic review aimed to analyse the impact of experiencing homelessness on the clinical outcomes of COVID-19, including the effects on health inequalities. Methods: A review protocol was developed and registered in PROSPERO (PROSPERO registration 2022 CRD42022304941). Nine databases were searched in November 2022 to identify studies on homeless populations which contained primary research on the following outcomes of COVID-19: incidence, hospitalisation, mortality, long COVID, mental wellbeing, and evidence of inequalities. Included studies were summarised with narrative synthesis. Results: The searches yielded 8,233 initial hits; after screening, 41 studies were included. Overall, evidence showed that those in crowded living settings had a higher risk of COVID-19 infection compared to rough sleepers and the general population. The homeless population had higher rates of hospitalisation and mortality than the general population, lower vaccination rates, and suffered negative mental health impacts. Conclusion: This systematic review shows the homeless population is more susceptible to COVID-19 outcomes. Further research is needed to determine the actual impact of the pandemic on this population, and of interventions to mitigate overall risk, given the low certainty of findings from some of the low-quality evidence available. In addition, further research is required to ascertain the impact of long COVID on those experiencing homelessness, since the present review yielded no studies on this topic.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Frontiers Media
ISSN: 1661-8564
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 September 2023
Date of Acceptance: 15 September 2023
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2024 02:24

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