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Article   |    
Characteristics of New Patient Admissions to Aftercare
Frank Summers
Psychiatric Services 1979; doi:
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Sustaining Care Program Institute of Psychiatry Northwestern Memorial Hospital Chicago, Illinois

American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Consecutive new admissions to a large urban psychiatric aftercare clinic over a nine-month period were surveyed on a variety of demographic variables as well as on psychiatric history, symptomatology, and social and domestic role performance. The findings revealed a group of chronically unemployed, socially isolated patients who had been hospitalized numerous times, and whose problems derived more from empty lives and inability to function rather than from psychopathological symptoms. The author concludes that aftercare clinics are generally unprepared to meet the needs of such patients. He questions the wisdom of continually discharging patients who will shortly be rehospitalized, and suggests that the criteria for discharge should include the capacity for social adjustment and independent living in the community.

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