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January 1951


Author Affiliations


From the Research Service, Worcester State Hospital.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1951;65(1):48-53. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1951.02320010054006

THE EVALUATION of any form of therapy is fraught with difficulty. In psychiatry this is particularly true. Whether one of the physical therapies or a form of psychotherapy has been employed makes little difference. One cannot yet point to any universally acceptable general criteria having a high degree of predictive significance for the use of a given form of therapy in any given case.

There are many reasons for this, some of which derive from the nature of the problem and are quite similar to those encountered in general medicine. However, two features are outstanding: (1) a basic confusion in the concepts of "cause" and "cure" and (2) an astonishing lack of agreement between psychiatrists in their appraisal of the form and content of the behavior of their patients. It is the latter problem with which we are particularly concerned. Often two physicians cannot agree on what they see. Consequently,

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