Impact of a psychiatric outreach service for homeless persons with schizophrenia.
ABSTRACT Since 1988 a 24-hour psychiatric out reach service has been in operation in the inner city of Sydney to provide services to residents of refuges for the homeless. A total of 506 homeless persons with schizophrenia were referred to the outreach service between April 1988 and mid-1992, of whom 91 failed to attend. Hospitalization data were collected for the four years before and the four years after each individual's referral to the service. After the introduction of the service, the rate and duration of psychiatric hospital admissions for residents with schizophrenia who were treated by the outreach service decreased significantly, whereas those who failed to attend showed no such decrease.