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May 1961

Hospital Psychotherapy in Severe Ulcerative Colitis: Its Ineffectiveness in Preventing Surgical Measures and Recurrences

Author Affiliations

Attending Psychiatrist, Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;4(5):509-512. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710110079010

Ulcerative colitis, a disease of unknown etiology and to date incurable by any specific medical therapy, has been receiving increasing attention from psychiatrists in the last 25 years. Even the textbooks of general medicine have been recommending psychiatric consultation and psychotherapy in the hope of controlling or preventing recurring attacks of this serious disorder. There are but 3 successful cases reported in the literature1 that have been psychoanalyzed and then followed for 10 or 15 years. There is, however, no report of a large series that has had adequate psychotherapy and sufficient follow-up to evaluate the long-term effect of this method of treatment on the course of the colitis.

This study confines itself, with few exceptions, to that form of ulcerative colitis which is so severe that hospitalization has become imperative. It is well known that there is a mild form