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July 1958

The Patient and His Experiences in an Outpatient Clinic

Author Affiliations

New Haven, Conn.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;80(1):86-92. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340070104017

It is a well-known fact that patients vary with respect to the number of visits they make to a clinic. We observed in our clinic that approximately one-third of the patients come only once, one-third less than five times, and one-third continue for more than five interviews.7

In an effort to delineate some of the factors which determine how long patients maintain contact with the clinic, we decided to gather data about the patient, the therapist's reaction to the patient, and the interaction between the two. We prepared a schedule which elaborated on these three categories. We independently completed a schedule from the chart of each patient. All items were subsequently compared, and agreement between our scores was high. When there was a difference, the patient's chart was reviewed, and after discussion we were able to arrive at a judgment acceptable to both. We examined the charts of all

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