March 1963

An Investigation of Openness in the Psychiatric Hospital

Author Affiliations

From the Institute for Psychosomatic and Psychiatric Research and Training of Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1963;8(3):269-276. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1963.01720090057006

Introduction  This paper is an attempt to investigate, clarify, and if possible, to define the concept of openness. This is a common consideration in psychiatric hospitals, as seen in the open ward, open floor, and open hospital.7,10,29,56As in the use of so many common terms and concepts in psychiatry, there has developed some confusion, as well as some prejudice to "openness." For the most part, the "open" hospital is felt to go along with freedom, and increased dignity and responsibility for the patients.45-47 Closed units and hospitals are often equated with rigidity and depreciation of patients, and are said to contribute much to patient symptomatology.24 Because of our own experience with an open unit for a period of 7 years, we decided to examine the concept of openness.

II. A Historical Review of the Literature  It is not clear

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