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December 1960

One Description of Mental Health and Disorder

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;3(6):575-582. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.01710060007002

Introduction  This report pertains to a description of mental health and disorder with emphasis upon a continuum of severity. The continuum being reported is called Functional Disability. Our aim is to make quantitative inroads upon clinical descriptions.Recent extensive reviews in the field of mental health2-5 suggest that there are 2 fields of research and practice in which major progress depends upon a continuum of mental health: the epidemiology of mental disorder and the evaluation of the effects of psychotherapy. Many studies referring to the epidemiology of mental disorder note such a need, especially for the "definition of a case." Similarly, the evaluation of psychological treatment depends upon some basis for defining improvement as movement along a scale of severity of mental disorder. Both fields will be helped substantially by a satisfactory description of a mental health continuum.

Theoretical Description  The continuum of mental

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