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April 1977

Decision to AdmitCriteria for Admission and Readmission to a Veterans Administration Hospital

Author Affiliations

Lawrence Apodaca
From the Department of Psychiatry, Veterans Administration Hospital, Sepulveda, Calif, and the University of California at Los Angeles.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1977;34(4):418-421. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1977.01770160052003

• Factors related to the decision to hospitalize applicants for psychiatric treatment at a Veterans Administration hospital were explored. For a three-week period, decision makers completed questionnaires following interviews with applicants. It was found that 79% of the applicants were "revolving door" patients. These patients were much less likely to be married, and more likely to be homeless and diagnosed as schizophrenic, than patients without previous hospitalizations. A small number of patients were admitted because of characteristics of their illness regardless of their social situations. Patients were not hospitalized on the basis of social or nonpsychiatric criteria alone. A large number were admitted because of a combination of factors, some social in nature and others related to their psychopathology. A social process taking place in the screening interview appeared to have some influence in the decision to admit.