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January 1957

Television Therapy: Effectiveness of Closed-Circuit Television as a Medium for Therapy in Treatment of the Mentally Ill

Author Affiliations

Agnew, Calif.; San Jose, Calif.; Agnew, Calif.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1957;77(1):57-69. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1957.02330310067013

Closed-circuit television has been introduced into the field of mental hygiene as a medium for the administration of therapy to a mass audience. The present evidence indicates that the use of this type of television may promote the development of new and more effective methods for the treatment of the mentally ill.

Closed-circuit television is so named because the program signal is carried directly from one point to another by cable, as opposed to commercial television, which is broadcast indiscriminately. Thus, closed-circuit television reception is restricted and can be seen by only those for whom it is intended.

This report on closed-circuit television therapy begins by describing the observational studies of the effects of commercial television programs on hospitalized mental patients. These preliminary studies later led to the development of the closed-circuit television therapy program.

In the spring of 1953 five television sets were installed on five different wards at

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