Research priorities in healthcare of persons experiencing homelessness: outcomes of a national multi-disciplinary stakeholder discussion in the United Kingdom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Karen Saunders
  • Gunveer Plahe
  • Sean Russell
  • Nigel Barnes
  • Richard Lowrie

Colleges, School and Institutes


BACKGROUND: Persons experiencing homelessness (PEH) face up to twelve times higher mortality rates compared to the general population. There is a need to develop, evaluate and implement novel interventions to minimise such inequalities. This paper aims to present outcomes of a national stakeholder engagement event that was conducted to discuss research priorities around healthcare of PEH in the United Kingdom (UK). MAIN BODY: A national stakeholder event was organised in Birmingham, UK. This workshop aimed to engage diverse stakeholders from a variety of background including representations from clinical practice, substance misuse, anti-slavery network, public health practice, local authority, homelessness charities, drugs and alcohol services, Public Health England and academia. A total of five key priority areas for research were identified which included: a) interventions to improve access to health services and preventative services; b) interventions to prevent drug and alcohol related deaths; c) improving existing services through quality improvement; d) identifying PEH's preferences of services; and e) interventions to break the link between vulnerabilities, particularly- modern day slavery and homelessness. Effective partnerships across diverse stakeholder groups were deemed to be imperative in developing, testing and implementing novel interventions. CONCLUSIONS: Maximising access to services, prevention of early deaths linked to drugs and alcohol, and identifying effective and ineffective policies and programmes were identified as priority research areas in relation to healthcare of PEH. The outcomes of this discussion will enable design and conduct of interdisciplinary research programmes to address the syndemics of homelessness and linked adverse health outcomes. Priorities identified here are likely to be applicable internationally.


Original languageEnglish
Article number86
JournalInternational Journal for Equity in Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2020


  • Health inequality, Homelessness, Research priorities