Homeless people at disadvantage in mental health services

Christoph Lauber, Barbara Lay, Wulf Rössler
European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 2006, 256 (3): 138-45

OBJECTIVE: The aims of this study are threefold: to depict characteristics of homeless at discharge from a psychiatric hospital; to describe the utilisation of inpatient care and treatment measures during hospitalisation; and to analyse to what extent psychiatric disorders and clinical variables contribute to the risk for homelessness at discharge.

METHODS: Based on case register data we analysed all 28,204 people consecutively referred in 1996-2001 to psychiatric hospitals of a well-defined catchment area in Switzerland.

RESULTS: 1% (N=269) of all admissions were homeless at discharge (mean age: 32.0 years; women: 27.9 %). Compared to other psychiatric inpatients, we found among the homeless more males, more people with younger age and lower education. Regarding treatment measures during the inpatient stay, homeless received less often psychopharmacotherapy, ergotherapy and physiotherapy, but more vocational training, occupational therapy and support by social workers. There was no difference between homeless and others regarding compulsory medication or seclusion. Homeless had a shorter length of inpatient stay. Risk factors for being homeless at discharge were: being homeless at admission, not living in a relationship, having a multiple substance abuse or a dual diagnosis, low clinical improvement during inpatient treatment and discharge against medical advice.

DISCUSSION: To prevent homelessness at discharge, it is important to consider all independent contributors, i. e. the living situation before admission, health care inequalities during inpatient treatment (care received, low clinical improvement, discharge planning) and psychopathology.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"