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June 28, 1985

The Chronic Mental Patient: Five Years Later

Author Affiliations

University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago


edited by John A. Talbott, 347 pp, $34.50, Orlando, Fla, Grune & Stratton Inc, 1984.

JAMA. 1985;253(24):3607. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350480117033

Wide distribution of this book—as soon as possible—is imperative because of the breadth and urgency of the problem it addresses. John Talbot, currently president of the American Psychiatric Association and long a vigorous advocate for the chronically mentally ill, has edited in four parts an up-to-date and far-reaching overview of the problem of chronic mental illness in America since its emergence as a major social policy issue less than ten years ago.

Samuel Keith, MD, and Susan Matthews, both from the Center for Studies in Schizophrenia, introduce the first part, "Research and Education," with a thoughtful and sensitive overview of research in schizophrenia, the most frequent diagnosis associated with chronic mental illness. Despite intense research efforts, schizophrenia still has a poor prognosis, leaving 25% of its victims permanently disabled from the initial episode and an additional 50% suffering intermittent illness and deterioration for the remainder of their lives. Pharmacologic and