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October 1972

Worlds Apart: Patients and Professionals

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1972;27(4):553-557. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1972.01750280109018

To study patients' and relatives' expectations of treatment, type of treatment desired, service assignment, and service utilization patterns, 611 applicants to a comprehensive community mental health center during a five-month period, and 433 of their relatives, were interviewed. Patients and relatives agree on wanting first of all, a lessening of symptoms and secondly, the overcoming of addictive behavior (alcohol and drugs). Patients prefer services which require minimal commitment from them; 51% of the patients received hospitalization as the initial assignment, as against 11.9% requests for hospitalization by patients and 23% by relatives. Most patients made limited use of services to which they were assigned. Comment is directed in terms of the need to develop briefer outpatient programs for selected patients.