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A Needs-Assessment Method for Planning Alternatives to Hospitalization
Gloria Fowler
Psychiatric Services 1980; doi:
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Research and Information Section Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Los Angeles, California

American Psychiatric Association

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A one-day caseload survey was conducted in Los Angeles County's public inpatient facilities in order to estimate needs for alternatives to hospitalization. According to the primaty therapists of each client in the caseload, 43 per cent of the inpatients could, on the day of the survey, be served in alternative programs. Responses to questions about the kinds of living arrangements and medical-diagnostic services needed in community programs for those clients showed a high need for residential care with close supervision or locked wards or both. The author concludes that while a significant number of inpatient days could be eliminated through the use of minimal-supervision alternatives, a large decrease in hospitalization could be expected only if more intensive community programs were implemented.

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