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July 1958

Feasibility of Community Clinic Treatment for State Mental Hospital Patients

Author Affiliations

Berkeley, Calif.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;80(1):71-77. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340070089015

The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential effectiveness of the community psychiatric clinic as an alternative disposition for certain mental hospital admissions. Specifically, it would compare the effectiveness and costs of hospital and clinic treatment in comparable psychiatric cases. From a sample of state mental hospital admissions, patients judged suitable for outpatient treatment in community clinics would be identified; of this group, half would be released and referred to outpatient clinics for treatment, while the other half would follow the ordinary course of hospitalization. Differential consequences of these treatment dispositions would then be evaluated.

In previous studies,1,2 conclusions had been drawn from the attempt to predict what the fate of patients would have been had they not received a particular service. The present study proposed a systematic test of these alternative dispositions.

The research design assumed that a sizable number of hospital admissions are suitable for