A recent study by Levine, Marks, and Hall1 compared the effects of different physical medicine and rehabilitation (PMR) activities and of different therapists on the behavior and symptoms of mental patients. In their comparison of the effects of a traditional occupational therapy (O. T.) program and a lawn-mowing detail, it was found that the psychiatrist, without being aware of whether the patient had gone to O. T. or to lawn mowing, rated the patients assigned to lawn mowing as being readier for discharge from the hospital; as having become less withdrawn, less depressed, less suspicious; as having a greater diminution in disorders of thought, and as having shown greater improvement in hospital adjustment. In addition to the greater improvement of the lawn-mowing group, it was found that the personality of the two therapists involved affected the benefit of each activity.
Three possible explanations for the better
EFRON HY, MARKS HK, HALL R. A Comparison of Group-Centered and Individual-Centered Activity Programs. AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1959;1(5):552–555. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1959.03590050120015
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