Poor mental health can catalyse the onset of homelessness. On the contrary, homelessness can have negative effects on mental health. The case histories taken on a three day placement in Chester exposed some of the types of mental illness suffered by the homeless population and the effect it had on their lives.
The aims of this SSM are to investigate the effects of homelessness on mental health and explore further the associations between personality disorders and drug abuse amongst the homeless.
A three day placement in a general practise that specialised in the care of homeless people was undertaken. From this, case histories were taken that have contributed to the formulation of a question for a systematic review. The databases used to search for articles and studies were: PubMed (1990-present), Medline (1990-present), Cochrane Library (1990-present) and the University of Liverpool library database DISCOVER (1990-present). The keywords used in the search were „homelessness‟, „personality disorder‟ and „drug abuse‟. Other information was found through websites by searching Google and Google scholar.
Two studies were found to be suitable for the systematic review. Both studies found associations between personality disorders and drug abuse amongst the homeless. The strengths and weaknesses of each study were taken into consideration when drawing conclusions from the data. The two studies used both suggested that more research needs to be done in this field.
Homelessness can have detrimental effects on the mental health of individuals. There are associations between homelessness, personality disorders and drug abuse. When dealing with homeless patients who are mentally ill, doctors must abide by the GMC duties of a doctor and respect the ethical principles in order to provide effective care.