Social Indicators Research

, Volume 115, Issue 1, pp 509–524 | Cite as

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

  • Anita M. HubleyEmail author
  • Lara B. Russell
  • Anita Palepu
  • Stephen W. Hwang


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.


Homeless Homelessness Life satisfaction Quality of life 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anita M. Hubley
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lara B. Russell
    • 1
  • Anita Palepu
    • 2
  • Stephen W. Hwang
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of ECPSUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Studies, Division of General Internal MedicineUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Centre for Research on Inner City Health, The Keenan Research Centre at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge InstituteSt. Michael’s HospitalTorontoCanada

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