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October 30, 1948


JAMA. 1948;138(9):703. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02900090077014

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Washington Letter  (From a Special Correspondent)Oct. 25, 1948.

"Walk Outs" at Veterans Administration Hospitals  An exhaustive study of irregular discharges, or "walk outs," of patients under treatment for tuberculosis in veterans' hospitals has been completed, and publication of the findings is scheduled for the near future. The investigation was made by William B. Tollen, Ph.D., of the Veterans Administration Research Division, at the request of Dr. J. B. Barnwell, chief of the Tuberculosis Division in the Department of Medicine and Surgery.Between July 1946 and June 1947, the one year period covered by the survey, about 6,000 patients terminated their hospitalization without medical sanction, the study revealed. These irregular discharges outnumbered regular discharges by nearly 1,000.According to data collected by social workers, measures most frequently mentioned which might have been effective in lowering the irregular discharge rate were: (1) intensive social casework with the veteran and his family

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