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.