The British Journal of Psychiatry
The homeless person and the psychiatric services: an Edinburgh survey.
R G Priest


A representative sample (R.S.) of 79 subjects living in Edinburgh common lodging houses was compared with a clinical series (C.S.) of 44 patients from the same type of resisence. C.S. patients were more likely to be out of work, to be under 55 years of age, and to have been married as some time. They had spent much shorter times in lodging houses, in Edinburgh and at their current address. Alcoholism was rather more often diagnosed in the C.S., and personality disorder much more often. Schizophrenia tended to be found more in the R.S. The C.S. obtained higher Personal Illness and 'Character Disorder' scores. It is concluded that those subjects presenting to the psychiatric services are a highly selected group quite unrepresentative of homeless single persons in general.