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April 30, 1955

The Mental Hospital: A Study of Institutional Participation in Psychiatric Illness and Treatment

JAMA. 1955;157(18):1660. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02950350074032

This volume reports the findings of a research project by a psychiatrist and a sociologist into the inner workings of a private mental hospital. It reveals, for the first time, how the administrative practices of a hospital influence the behavior of patients and the clinical course of their illnesses. It shows how tension and excitement among the patients was related to disagreements and disharmony among the members of the hospital staff and how these conditions disappeared when the disturbances among the professional personnel no longer prevailed. In addition to the formal structure of the hospital, which included the organizational hierarchy, the rules, and the procedure, the authors also observed the operations of an informal structure that consisted of the attitudes, biases, and personal relationships of the patients to one another, to the staff, and to the community. D. M. Bullard, the physician in charge of the hospital in which this

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