Objective: This study is designed to evaluate a hospital based integrated service for the comprehensive delivery of care and treatment to patients with schizophrenia, on epidemeological, cost effectiveness, and quality of life parameters. Methods: All patients with an ICD9 diagnosis of schizophrenia who received services from the St. Lomans Catchment area during a 2 year period were evaluated for service utilization during a subsequent 2 year period. Data was collected on basic demographics for the epidemiological aspects of the study, and for all aspects of services utilized, eg. day hospital attendance, inpatient bed useage, time spent with psychiatrist, community nurse visit or clinic visit. Costs for all services were calculated using disaggregate cost data. Quality of life of the patients was assessed through the Lehman quality of life questionnaire administered to every third identified patient. Results: 572 schizophrenic patients were identified from the case register and case records search. An analysis of the data indicated no difference in age of first contact with services on rural/urban or male/female comparisons contrasting with previously reported findings. Males tend to utilize proportionately more services in both rural and urban settings. Inpatient hospitalizations contributed the most to per patient costs and a small group of patients, comprising less than 5% of the total population, consumed 10% of the total costs consumed by all diagnostic groups and 30% of the costs of all schizophrenics. Non-hospitalized patients experienced the highest quality of life ratings. Conclusions: Hospital based community services to schizophrenics can be run cost-effectively. There remains a small subgroup of schizophrenic patients who are hard to place or treat in the community and they consume a disporportionate amount of the hospital's costs. Services that attempt to establish patients in the community can do so cost effectively provided there are hospital inpatient beds available as a back up. The benefits of this type of comprehensive service delivery to the schizophrenic population served are demonstrated.