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BACKGROUND: The roofless have not been previously surveyed in detail looking specifically at their psychiatric status. METHOD: All roofless people in a discrete area were interviewed in their 'skippers' using a semi-structured interview. Other roofless people helped in case finding and diagnostic validity was confirmed using a computerised case register. RESULTS: Sixty-five people were interviewed. High rates of substance abuse (n = 48, 75%), and very low rates of psychotic illness (n = 2, 3%) were found. High rates of serious physical morbidity, of imprisonment and of being the victim of a crime were found. CONCLUSION: The roofless have multiple severe medical, social, and psychiatric problems. These all must be addressed when considering the provision of services.


Journal article


Br J Psychiatry

Publication Date





537 - 540


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Alcoholism, Comorbidity, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Homeless Persons, Humans, Male, Mental Disorders, Middle Aged, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Psychotic Disorders, Scotland