July 1970

Activity Patterns of Psychiatric

Author Affiliations

Port Chester, NY
From High Point Hospital, Port Chester, NY.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1970;23(1):56-60. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1970.01750010058010

THE STAFF conference in a psychiatric hospital with a therapeutic community organization can and should be a key point in the hospital's decision-making and communication system. It is expected to be modeled in a relatively open and democratic form in which decisions can be made by the group and in which information can be shared in a way which helps eliminate unnecessary anxiety. However, social scientists such as Stanton and Schwartz1 and Caudill,2 who have reported extensively on the functioning of staff conferences, indicated that these meetings were too often negative in their effect. Etzione,3 in his perceptive critical discussion of mental hospital researches, came to the conclusion that the conferences were too often manipulative and unnecessarily anxiety arousing. He questioned if the staff really participated in the decision-making process. Evidently much has to be clarified about the functioning of such meetings in order to help make

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