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October 21, 1950

Chronic Disease Patients and Their Institutional Care

JAMA. 1950;144(8):720. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02920080122031

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The author reviews the problem of chronic disease in the United States with special attention to its hospital and institutional aspects. He also considers prevalence (national health survey data, mortality, relation to geriatrics and nursing care aspects, describes St. Barnabas Hospital's organization and facilities and discusses the New York City, New York State and Chicago surveys and programs.

The author believes adequate hospital care is "the greatest community problem today for the chronically ill." He accepts estimates of 2 beds per 1,000 needed for active hospital care and 2.5 beds per 1,000 needed for other institutional care for long-term patients with insufficient emphasis on the tentative nature of these estimates. He argues that, although additional hospital beds in rural areas may be supplied by special units in conjunction with general hospitals, in the larger urban areas special chronic hospitals "should comprise a fair proportion of such new construction." He states

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