The diagnosis of mental deficiency places serious responsibilities upon the pediatrician. He must assist the parents in planning for the long-term care of their defective child. Although the parents must ultimately decide whether to keep their child at home or to seek his admission to an institution, the pediatrician is frequently the most important counselor in helping them to reach a decision. The more information he has available the easier will be his task in discussing institutional admission. Unfortunately, however, adequate data are very limited on the natural history of the institutionalized mentally deficient patient.1
It is the purpose of this paper to provide information concerning the probabilities of release and death of patients admitted to a state hospital. The data were collected as part of a study of patients admitted to Pacific State Hospital during the period of July 1, 1948, to June 30, 1952. The results and
TARJAN G, WRIGHT SW, KRAMER M, PERSON PH, MORGAN R. The Natural History of Mental Deficiency in a State Hospital: I. Probabilities of Release and Death by Age, Intelligence Quotient, and Diagnosis. AMA Am J Dis Child. 1958;96(1):64–70. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1958.02060060066011
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