December 1978

Results of a Token Economy

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin, Madison (Dr Fullerton); the Pain Management Program, University of Wisconsin Hospitals, Madison (Mr Cayner); and the Norwood Health Center, Marshfield, Wis (Ms McLaughlin-Reidel).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1978;35(12):1451-1453. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1978.01770360055006

• A token economy for chronic psychiatric patients (average hospital stay of ten years) is reported. One hundred seventy-four patients were treated. Follow-up data were obtained on 173 patients who had been discharged from the hospital for an average of three years at the time of follow-up. One hundred twenty-five patients completed the program, which featured a graduated method for shaping behavior (functional levels). Ninety-one of the 125 patients who completed the program (72%) were still living in the community at the time of follow-up. Sixty percent of the patients who completed the program and were living in the community were employed. The program was most effective with patients who had been in the hospital for less than ten years and had an IQ above 80.