Dr. Sandra Feodor Nilsson is a social epidemiologist with a background in Public Health Sciences who has obtained her PhD with the title: “Homelessness and psychiatric morbidity in Denmark – From a public health perspective” from the University of Copenhagen in 2018.
Her research has been focusing on homelessness for the past 10 years, and she has been the first to do nationwide register-based studies of people using homeless shelters by using the Danish Homeless Register.
The Danish Homeless register was established in 1999 and is a very unique data source containing individual-level information on homeless shelter contacts for more than 30,000 people in Denmark. When combining this information with data from other Danish registers, the opportunity to study homelessness is taken to another level. Dr. Nilsson has therefore been studying health problems in homeless shelter users in Denmark with the aim of documenting the severity of the problems. She has devoted much time to examine the mortality in homeless people and has examined the complex relationship between homelessness, psychiatric disorders, and mortality in details. Furthermore, she has been interested in the risk of mental illness and substance use disorders in offspring of parents with experiences of homelessness. In addition to the register-based studies, she has conducted a large systematic review and meta-analysis of individual-level predictors for becoming homeless and exiting homelessness in high-income countries to be able to guide future research and interventions within this field.
Dr. Nilssons’ research has led to some high-impact papers from the beginning of her research and she is the primary author of the paper: “Psychiatric disorders and mortality among people in homeless shelters in Denmark: a nationwide register-based cohort study” published in the Lancet in 2011. Besides she has in 2018 published a paper of: “Homelessness as a predictor of mortality: an 11-year register-based cohort study” in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology and in 2017 a paper of: “Risk of psychiatric disorders in offspring of parents with a history of homelessness during childhood and adolescence in Denmark: a nationwide, register-based, cohort study” in Lancet Public Health. She is now affiliated as a post doc researcher at the Mental Health Centre of Copenhagen.