Accession Number : ADA199428

Title :   Homeless Mentally Ill. Problems and Options in Estimating Numbers and Trends.

Corporate Author : GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC PROGRAM EVALUATION AND METHODOLOGY DI V

PDF Url : ADA199428

Report Date : Aug 1988

Pagination or Media Count : 22

Abstract : GAO examined the soundness of current estimates of the number of homeless chronically mentally ill persons in the United States and developed strategies for arriving at sound estimates of populations and of trends. To examine the soundness of current information, GAO reviewed estimates of the number of homeless persons that were published between 1975 and 1987 and that presented at least some information about the estimation methods. Of 27 such reports, 3 were national, 4 were state, and 20 were local. Nine of the 27 had information on mental illness among homeless persons. There are no sound national estimates of the number of homeless persons who are chronically mentally ill or of trends over time. There are, however, local estimates that give relatively sound numbers on both homeless persons and those who are chronically mentally ill. These estimates, while they cannot be generalized to the nation, use methods that could be applied on a larger scale. GAO identified several options for obtaining better assessments. For example, information useful for general planning could be derived relatively inexpensively from combining improved administrative data with some specialized studies. Fine-grained resource allocation would require a survey approach, which GAO has summarized. GAO has also developed general guidelines with regard to definitions, sampling, measures, and implementation that could improve the technical quality of the information. Keywords: Statistical analysis. (kt)

Descriptors :   *ESTIMATES, *SOCIAL DEPRIVATION, *MENTAL DISORDERS, *HEALTH SURVEYS, ILLNESS, INSTRUCTIONS, MANAGEMENT, PUBLIC HEALTH, SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, MENTAL ABILITY, METHODOLOGY, NUMBERS, PATTERNS, PLANNING, POPULATION, QUALITY, SAMPLING, SOUND, STATISTICAL ANALYSIS, SURVEYS, UNITED STATES

Subject Categories : Statistics and Probability
      Sociology and Law
      Psychology

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE