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July 1969

The Waiting Room Society: A Study of Families and Children Applying to a Child Psychiatric Clinic

Author Affiliations

Brooklyn, NY
From the Department of Psychiatry, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;21(1):25-32. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740190027003

TO FACILITATE planning for a more effective deployment of clinical services, our child psychiatric clinic determined to investigate the nature of the presenting patient population. Several studies have appeared describing child psychiatry clinic populations.1-4 A study done at the Institute for Juvenile Research in Chicago cited the value for clinic institutions and staff in understanding what populations they serve, as well as the research uses to which such data can be put.5 On the whole, however, only meager information has been available concerning the kinds of children who are brought for psychiatric evaluation and treatment and how the backgrounds and symptomatology of present child patients compares with those of the past. Lacking such information, clinics have been unable to benefit from inferences that may be drawn from any changes in the presenting problems or to estimate, from their own experience, what outpatient services they must

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