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September 1966

Family Care: A Therapeutic Tool for the Chronic Mental Patient

Author Affiliations

From the Veterans Administration Hospital, Coral Gables, Fla, and the Veterans Administration Hospital, Perry Point, Md.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1966;15(3):276-278. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1966.01730150052008

FAMILY care provides a substitute family and community living for patients who have no available family and who cannot live alone. Its therapeutic value has long been recognized in the treatment of psychiatric illness. Even though it was one of the earliest forms of care for the mentally ill, the program has been relatively slow to expand. A factor in program development may be that community and hospital staffs have reacted to individual success and failure stories when they have evaluated family care. A more objective approach is needed.

Although criteria for selection of patients should be explicitly developed from empirical research, trial and error guidance suggests there is a family care prototype. By and large, he is the "good" hospital patient. He passes the admission procedure uneventfully, since his problems are not remarkable; his illness is often burned out, and he presents little challenge for psychotherapy or

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