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April 1971

The First Year Out: Mental Patients After Hospitalization.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1971;24(4):387-388. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1971.01750100097017

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This systematic field study was designed to evaluate longitudinally and comprehensively the post-hospital adjustment of recently released psychiatric patients. The focus is on psychosocial variables which were explored by means of tests and interviews. In general, the investigation was directed at increasing clinical knowledge about post-hospital adjustment and rehospitalization. Specifically, this intensive study of in-community clinical and social adjustment was aimed at defining the distinguishing characteristics of successful vs unsuccessful adjustments.

The authors claim that the investigation is methodologically a deliberate venture in constructive innovation. The originality of the methodology lies in a combination of three ingredients, none of which is individually unique: (1) characteristics of the sample (the investigators attempted to obtain a random sample of expatients of a single state mental hospital); (2) longitudinal coverage; and (3) measurement techniques. The major innovation was the effort to evaluate each patient monthly for one year except for time lost by

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