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March 1948

The Nature of Deterioration in Schizophrenic Conditions.

Arch NeurPsych. 1948;59(3):442-443. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1948.02300380171020

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In this report, by the chief psychologist of the Worcester State Hospital, deterioration is defined as "functioning at a level below the subject's optimal performance due to an integral impairment of the organism rather than to such temporary or extrinsic factors as passing physical illness, fatigue, emotional disturbance or poor external conditions for performance." The author does not indicate how this definition was arrived at, although he does defend its value. What is meant by "an integral impairment of the organism" remains obscure, and why an emotional disturbance is considered temporary or extrinsic also is not clear.

The value of longitudinal studies is indicated, and the author deplores the limitation of the present report to cross sectional aspects.

The monograph is based mainly on the study of a group of 25 male schizophrenic patients, with additional data from larger groups. The undoubted importance of cooperation is discussed. Comparisons with "normal"

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