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April 1981

Mental Patients' Attitudes Toward Hospital Staff: A Review of Quantitative Research

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of South Carolina at Aiken.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(4):483-489. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780290117013

• Relatively few social scientists have collected quantitative data on the attitudes of patients toward the staff of mental hospitals. The present report is a review of this body of research, with special consideration given to ascertaining the degree of patients' favorableness to staff. Results indicated that in 21 of the 27 different samples reviewed (78%), patients had favorable attitudes. Patients proved to be somewhat more favorable to staff at mental hospitals generally than staff at their own institution. Type of hospital and time of study had a negligible impact on patients' views. Staff in lower ranks in the hospital hierarchy or in nontherapeutic roles usually received lower evaluations. A content analysis of the attitude measures revealed that patients are quite positive about staff's accessibility, receptivity, support, and training, but somewhat negative toward staff's permissiveness and control. Few social or psychiatric variables were observed to affect patients' responses.

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