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April 1960

Mental Hospital Organization and Staff Evaluation of Patients

Author Affiliations

Columbus, Ohio

AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;2(4):462-467. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.03590100102012

The study reported in this paper derives from an earlier investigation of the discrepancies in real, perceived, and ideal decision-making influence among the professional clinical personnel on five wards of a mental hospital.2 The findings in that study clearly indicated that the manner in which staff members viewed their participation in the decisions made concerning patient care and treatment was a function of two distinct organizational features of the hospital considered. It was found that, although staff personnel tended to view their participation as that of members of professional groups rather than of private operatives, these perceptions were significantly modified by the situational context in which they worked (i.e., the ward). It was found, for example, that discrepancies between perceived and desired decision-making influence were inversely and significantly related to the officially prescribed authority hierarchy (e.g., psychiatrists indicated the least, while the occupational

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