July 1969

Factors of the Treatment Environment

Author Affiliations

Eugene, Ore
From Comparative Studies of Organization, the Department of Sociology, University of Oregon, Eugene, Ore.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;21(1):39-45. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740190041005

WITH THE rediscovery of the environment in the treatment of the mentally ill, terms such as therapeutic milieu, therapeutic environment, and therapeutic community have become commonplace, in spite of imperfect agreement regarding their definitions or effects. Among the diverse and sometimes vague meanings that have been used are: a pleasant background for treatment, a type of comprehensive treatment program, something in between these, humanizing the hospital, the ethos or emotional climate, attitudes or ideology of the staff, qualities of relationships, types of organization, and physical settings.1 One of the reasons for an inability to predict the effects of specific aspects of the treatment environment on particular types of patients2,3 is that research in this area suffers from inadequate conceptualization and measurement of environmental differences.

The development of an instrument to measure the "Characteristics of a Treatment

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