July 1971

Hierarchical Grouping of Opinions About Release/Retention of Psychiatric Patients

Author Affiliations

Washington, DC
From the Veterans Administration Hospital, Washington, DC.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1971;25(1):69-73. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1971.01750130071008

Staff members in 13 Veterans Administration hospitals rated the importance of avoiding 16 possible outcomes of releasing psychiatric patients from the hospital or of requiring them to stay longer. The resulting 1,353 outcome importance profiles were clustered into six relatively homogeneous groups using a hierarchical grouping procedure. Outcome importance ratings disclosed that most of the differences could be summarized by three general concepts: (1) concern about being criticized for one's decision; (2) concern about the stress and inconveniences caused by release for either the patient or his family; and (3) concern about misuse of the hospital, either by the patient (malingering) or by the staff (institutionalization).