Document Detail

Homelessness among people with severe mental illness in Switzerland.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15729607     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
QUESTIONS UNDER STUDY: This study addresses socio-demographic and clinical characteristics among homeless people in Switzerland admitted to inpatient care, the use of and pathways to inpatient care by this group and, the extent to which psychiatric disorders contribute to the risk of homelessness.
METHODS: Based on data of a psychiatric case register we analysed 16247 people consecutively referred to psychiatric hospitals of a catchment area in Switzerland between 1998 and 2001.
RESULTS: 1.6% of all admitted patients (N = 257) were homeless (mean age: 34.4 years; women: 30.0%). The homeless as compared to other psychiatric inpatients had higher rates of substance use disorders, equal rates of psychotic and personality disorders, but lower rates of organic and affective disorders. Homeless people were more often compulsorily or as an emergency admitted. General practitioners (GPs) were less involved in the admission. The homeless had a shorter inpatient stay and their health status did not equally improve like in other patients. Risk factors of being homeless at psychiatric admission were: young age, male gender, single, low education level, urban residence, abuse of illicit drugs, especially multiple substance use, and having a dual diagnosis.
CONCLUSIONS: Social factors and psychopathology are independently contributing to the risk of homelessness. Health care inequalities were found with regard to pathways to inpatient care (high rate of compulsory and emergency admissions, low involvement of GPs) and hospital stay (shorter stay, less improvement). Compared to other countries, disproportionate use of inpatient resources by homeless people could not be confirmed.
Christoph Lauber; Barbara Lay; Wulf Rössler
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Swiss medical weekly     Volume:  135     ISSN:  1424-7860     ISO Abbreviation:  Swiss Med Wkly     Publication Date:  2005 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-02-24     Completed Date:  2005-05-17     Revised Date:  2011-02-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100970884     Medline TA:  Swiss Med Wkly     Country:  Switzerland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  50-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Psychiatric University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland.
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MeSH Terms
Catchment Area (Health)
Educational Status
Homeless Persons / statistics & numerical data*
Hospitals, Psychiatric / statistics & numerical data*
Mental Disorders / classification,  epidemiology*
Middle Aged
Referral and Consultation
Risk Factors
Severity of Illness Index
Sex Distribution
Switzerland / epidemiology

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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