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February 1963

Privileged Communication and Confidentiality in Research

Author Affiliations

From "An Essay on Man," by Alexander Pope.
Research Psychiatrist, Section on Psychiatry, Laboratory of Clinical Science, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Consultant, Geriatric Program, Chestnut Lodge, Inc., Rockville, Md. Faculty, Washington School of Psychiatry, Washington, D.C.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1963;8(2):139-141. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1963.01720080029005

Know then thyself, presume not God to scan; The proper study of mankind is man.*

Our studies were of older people selected with the criteria of medical health, community residence, and the absence of severe psychopathology.1 We were applying a microscope to an unusually healthy and socially competent group of aged. A major research strategy was to maximize the opportunities of studying the effects of time alone (chronological aging) and to minimize the effects of disease, social adversity, and mental disorder. We also sought to observe for very early suggestive manifestations of the prevalent disorders in the aged, depression and chronic brain syndrome. Since we were engaged in a follow-up study, we could confirm or reject our predictions. We used the term "Senile Quality" to describe the early group of apparent organic changes, and we

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