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A Ten-Year Follow-up Study of the Effects of Deinstitutionalization
Robert A. Dorwart
Psychiatric Services 1988; doi:
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Data for this paper were provided by the staff of Metropolitan State Hospital in Waltham, Massachusetts. The author wishes to acknowledge the support and assistance of Audry DeLoffi, Dr. Myron Belfer, and Tim Maples.

Department of psychiatry at Cambridge Hospital, 1493 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139

American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

The Cambridge-Somerville unit of the Massachusetts state hospital system, which was studied by the author in 1977, was resurveyed to examine changes in the clinical characteristics of the patient population between 1977 and 1987. Although the number of patients in the hospital remained almost the same, there were striking increases in the percentages of male patients and of patients on involuntary legal status. There was a decrease in the number of patients who had hospital stays of 30 days or less or of more than five years and an increase in the number of patients staying between one and 12 months. These findings demonstrate that the effects of deinstitutionalization continue long after trends toward reduction of census have stabilized.

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