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September 1958

Development of an Active Therapeutic Program on a Chronic Ward

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;80(3):363-373. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340090099015

In recent years there have been many efforts to alter traditionally custodial psychiatric hospitals into more psychotherapeutic rehabilitative organizations. The project herein reported was undertaken to transform a chronic custodial psychiatric ward into one that actively encouraged and supported patient improvement and rehabilitation. As one of several projects initiated to improve patient care in a large state hospital, it was begun shortly after a similar program had been instituted on another ward in the same building. The personnel from both wards met weekly to discuss problems encountered on their respective units, and the over-all approach was evolved in these meetings and personnel conferences on each ward. As is the case in most state hospitals, there were limitations in the number of personnel and amount of money available to carry out the program.

This paper is written to describe the evolutionary process on one ward from October, 1956, to October, 1957.