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Untreated schizophrenia in hostels for the homeless: a cause for concern?

  • M. Marshall (a1) and M. Sharpe (a1)

We report two cases from a study of Oxford hostels for the homeless of patients who were suffering from schizophrenia and are not receiving medication. After compulsory admission to hospital and treatment both showed a dramatic improvement in behaviour which was confirmed by a standardised rating scale. We discuss how hostels for the homeless have become both asylums and traps for those who suffer from schizophrenia and conclude that doctors should not under-estimate the potential benefit of anti-psychotic drug therapy even in homeless people with chronic psychosis.

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Marshall, M. (1989) Collected and neglected: Are Oxford hostels for the homeless filling up with disabled psychiatric patients? British Medical Journal, 299, 706709.
Priest, R. G. (1976) The homeless person and the psychiatric services: an Edinburgh study. British Journal of Psychiatry, 10, 233235.
Timms, P. W. & Fry, A. H. (1989) Homelessness and mental illness. Health Trends, 21, 7071.
Weller, M. Tobiansky, R. I., Hollander, D. & Ibranhimi, S. (1989) Psychosis and destitution at Christmas 1985–1988. Lancet, ii, 15091511.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Untreated schizophrenia in hostels for the homeless: a cause for concern?

  • M. Marshall (a1) and M. Sharpe (a1)
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