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Article
February 22, 1958

The Patient and the Mental Hospital: Contributions of Research in the Science of Social Behavior

JAMA. 1958;166(8):986. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.02990080132030

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Abstract

The seeds of this work were sown in several conferences, the most important of which was a research conference on the social and environmental aspects of patient care in mental hospitals. This was held under the aegis of the National Institute of Mental Health. These pages, revised, shortened, and encompassed in one volume, grew directly from that conference. The mental hospital has been called a historic accident. It was born in order to get the mentally sick out of jails, garrets, and basements. Of late these institutions, some of them grown to gigantic size, have attracted the attention of social scientists, social anthropologists, psychologists, and sociologists, as witness this worthwhile volume. The book is divided into five parts and is made up of 38 papers, most of them by several collaborators. These pages of closely reasoned material are anything but hammock reading; in fact, the contents are more to be

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