A total of 196 nonspecialty state hospitals in the U.S. each identified one patient—referred to as the hospital's "worst" recidivist—admitted to the hospital in 1 987 who bad the most lifetime admissions to that hospital. Persons admitted for mental retardation or substance abuse detoxification were excluded. The mean age of the recidivists was 42.2 years; their mean age at first admission was 24.7. The number of admissions per patient ranged from five to 121, with a mean of 3l. Compared with the national population of state hospital admissions, significantly larger proportions of recidivists had diagnoses of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and personality disorders. More research is needed to determine actual community tenure of patients who receive revolving-door care and whether alternative approaches would be more effective.