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Linking Deinstitutionalization of Patients With Hospital Phase-Down: The Difference Between Success and Failure
John W. Ashbaugh; Valerie J. Bradley
Psychiatric Services 1979; doi:
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Human Services Research Institute, Washington, D.C.

American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Deinstitutionalization of patients is an inevitable fore-runner of hospital phase-down or closure, but if the two processes are carried out at the same time, they will be counterproductive. An evaluation of the combined deinstitutionalization and phasing down of a state hospital in Pennsylvania indicated conflicts in the areas of case management, community and political support, and administrative flexibility. A substantial problem was that deinstitutionalization is time-consuming and must be flexible enough to allow for the development of essential community supports and for largely unpredictable reactions from patients, families, communities, and service providers. Conversely, hospital consolidation must be relatively quick and inflexible to permit the orderly redisposition of staff and patients, reduce unnecessary staff resistance and anxiety, and withstand changing political pressures.

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