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January 1952

RESULTS OF TREATMENT OF SCHIZOPHRENIA IN A STATE HOSPITAL: Changing Trends Since Advent of Electroshock Therapy

Author Affiliations


From the Clinical Services of the Worcester State Hospital.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1952;67(1):80-88. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1952.02320130086009

THE TREATMENT of schizophrenic psychoses has always presented a challenge to psychiatry. Attitudes toward their treatment have changed from time to time, depending to some extent on prevailing conceptions of the nature of these disorders. The traditions handed down from the teachings of Kraepelin tended toward a highly pessimistic outlook. In recent years more optimistic views have commonly been expressed. One of the factors contributing to this change has apparently been the enthusiasm associated with the introduction of the shock therapies. These new procedures cannot be regarded as panaceas, but they have undoubtedly tended to minimize fatalistic attitudes and stimulate more active therapeutic efforts in a variety of directions.

One may properly ask whether a more optimistic attitude is justified by any measurably greater success of treatment in recent years, and, if so, whether credit should be given partially or fully to the shock therapies. Unfortunately, reliable comparisons are difficult

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