Declaration of interest
Reports linking the deinstitutionalisation of psychiatric care with homelessness and imprisonment have been published widely.
To identify cohort studies that followed up or traced back long-term psychiatric hospital residents who had been discharged as a consequence of deinstitutionalisation.
A broad search strategy was used and 9435 titles and abstracts were screened, 416 full articles reviewed and 171 articles from cohort studies of deinstitutionalised patients were examined in detail.
Twenty-three studies of unique populations assessed homelessness and imprisonment among patients discharged from long-term care. Homelessness and imprisonment occurred sporadically; in the majority of studies no single case of homelessness or imprisonment was reported.
Our results contradict the findings of ecological studies which indicated a strong correlation between the decreasing number of psychiatric beds and an increasing number of people with mental health problems who were homeless or in prison.
This work was supported by the Czech National Institute of Mental Health grant CZ.1.05/2.1.00/03.0078 and by the European Regional Development Fund. The funding source had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, interpretation of the results, writing the report or the decision to submit the paper for publication.
- © The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2016.
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