Symptom profiles and homelessness in Schizophrenia

Lewis A. Opler, Carol L.M. Caton, Patrick Shrout, Boanerges Dominguez, Frederic I. Kass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One hundred homeless schizophrenic men and 100 never homeless schizophrenic men were compared in terms of symptom ratings on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), which yields a positive, negative, and general psychopathology scale score, as well as evaluated on a number of other variables. The homeless group obtained significantly higher ratings on the PANSS positive and general psychopathology scales, but the two groups did not differ on the PANSS negative scale score. When symptom patterns for subsets of patients who did not abuse illicit substances or alcohol (N = 23 for homeless, N = 56 for nonhomeless) and who were compliant with medication (N = 63 for homeless, N = 82 for nonhomeless) were examined, the higher ratings on the positive and general psychopathology scales failed to achieve statistical significance, while the absence of between-group differences on the negative scale was maintained. Our results suggest that severity of positive and general psychopathology symptoms, but not of negative symptoms, predicts homelessness in schizophrenia and that illicit substance abuse and neuroleptic noncompliance contributed, at least in part, to our higher positive and general psychopathology symptom ratings in the homeless sample. Our findings underscore the need to undertake prospective longitudinal studies to unravel the multifactorial etiology of homelessness in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-178
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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