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October 1964

Physicians' Attitudes Toward Alcoholic Patients

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1964;11(4):392-399. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1964.01720280038006

Introduction  This study is concerned with the relationship between personal values and experiences of the physician and his attitude toward the treatment of alcoholic patients. In view of the known unwillingness of some physicians to recognize that alcoholism is a medical illness which requires medical treatment, it was the intent of this study to discover in what way, if any, this attitude of physicians was related to any personal characteristics of authoritarianism and previous experience with alcoholism.From published reports of physicians' attitudes to alcoholic patients, two generalizations have emerged. The first is that physicians state that alcoholic patients are difficult to treat. Thus, in a survey of psychiatrists, Haymen7 pointed out that alcoholics avoid any type of treatment until they become desperate or come into conflict with the law. Davis4 reported that alcoholics consume a great deal of the physician's