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Psychiatric morbidity and health service use among attendees at a winter shelter

  • Marianne Hayward (a1)
Abstract
Aims and Method

Homelessness is associated with raised psychiatric morbidity. Case records for 597 consecutive attendees at a winter shelter medical service were retrospectively reviewed to assess routine recording of psychiatric morbidity and to examine associations between current psychiatric symptoms and health service use.

Results

Previous psychiatric morbidity was recorded in 36.0% of attendees, including 20.4% with comorbid substance misuse. Current psychiatric morbidity was recorded in 31.3% of attendees, and was associated with reduced total medication prescription, increased referral to other services and increased re-presentation to the shelter medical service.

Clinical Implications

Psychiatric morbidity was frequently recorded in this population. Current psychiatric symptoms were associated with increased health service use. Improved training of shelter staff should be instituted to increase engagement with mainstream mental health services.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Psychiatric morbidity and health service use among attendees at a winter shelter

  • Marianne Hayward (a1)
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