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Article
July 1958

The Natural History of Mental Deficiency in a State HospitalI. Probabilities of Release and Death by Age, Intelligence Quotient, and Diagnosis

Author Affiliations

Pomona, Calif.
Superintendent and Medical Director, Pacific State Hospital, and Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of California School of Medicine at Los Angeles (Dr. Tarjan); Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of California School of Medicine at Los Angeles, and Research Consultant, Pacific State Hospital (Dr. Wright); Chief, Biometrics Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Public Health Service (Dr. Kramer); Analytical Statistician, Biometrics Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Public Health Service (Mr. Person); Statistical Research Officer, Department of Mental Hygiene, State of California (Mr. Morgan).

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1958;96(1):64-70. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1958.02060060066011
Abstract

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

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