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When psychiatric work was begun at a naval training station, a new work was being undertaken. No precedents had been established, and no approved method was in vogue. For this reason the first effort was to seek out and understand the special problem presented. Enough work had been done to show that nervous and mental diseases occur in the Naval Service, and that most of these probably antedate enlistment. An analysis of the reports of the Surgeon-General has been made, and the following facts gleaned from the 1916 report, showing the relation of neurology and psychiatry to the Medical Department for the year 1915:
Total men invalided from the service, 1,272, or 18.68 per thousand.
For nervous and mental diseases, 244, or 3.57 per thousand (by corrected classification, 270, or 21 per cent.).
That is, 19 per cent. of those invalided from the service were for nervous or mental diseases.
STEARNS AW. THE PSYCHIATRIC EXAMINATION OF RECRUITS. JAMA. 1918;70(4):229–231. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.1918.26010040007008c
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