A critical time intervention with mentally ill homeless men: impact on psychiatric symptoms

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2000 Mar;188(3):135-40. doi: 10.1097/00005053-200003000-00002.


We describe the impact of a psychosocial intervention, critical time intervention (CTI), on the cardinal symptom dimensions of schizophrenia, namely negative, positive, and general psychopathology. Ninety-six men with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders who were discharged from a homeless shelter were randomly assigned to receive either CTI or usual services only. CTI is a time-limited intervention designed to enhance continuity of care during the transition from institution to community. Symptom severity at baseline and at 6 months was assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. Using data on 76 subjects for whom we have complete symptom data, we assessed the impact of CTI on change in symptoms. The results suggest that CTI was associated with a statistically significant decrease in negative symptoms at the 6-month follow-up, reflecting modest clinical improvement. There was no significant effect on positive or general psychopathology symptoms.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Community Mental Health Services / methods*
  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Homeless Persons / psychology*
  • Homeless Persons / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychotic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychotic Disorders / therapy
  • Residential Treatment
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia / therapy*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Social Support
  • Treatment Outcome