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October 1969

Research on the Psychiatric WardThe Effects on Conflicting Priorities

Author Affiliations

Bethesda, Md
From the National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md. Dr. Epstein is currently in private practice in Bethesda, Md, and Dr. Janowsky is at the Department of Psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine, Harbor General Hospital, Torrance, Calif.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;21(4):455-463. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740220071008

IN recent years, it has become increasingly common for psychiatric investigators to conduct studies on wards designed especially for research purposes. With substantial government financial support, psychiatric research wards have been established in university medical centers, as well as in state and general hospitals. Widespread advancements in the behavioral sciences have been made as a result of studies conducted on such units.

In instances where a given ward primarily exists for the purpose of performing research, psychiatric treatment is frequently offered to patients with mental disorders in exchange for their agreement to cooperate as research subjects. Unfortunately, attempting to perform research on patients hospitalized primarily for therapeutic reasons can become the basis of a critical dilemma. Serious difficulties may arise in trying to offer a treatment service, while simultaneously seeking high quality research output.

While clinical research on psychiatric wards is an essential part of the attempt to establish and

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