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A Lithium Clinic in a Community Mental Health Center
Jack Ellenberg; Itamar Salamon; Catherine Meaney
Psychiatric Services 1980; doi:
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Sound View-Throgs Neck Community Mental Health Center, Bronx, New York

American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

A community mental health center established a group lithium clinic to introduce a medical model of treatment for manic-depressive patients and to reduce staff time in caring for these patients. Clinical maintenance consisted of a monthly group meeting with a psychiatrist and a social worker; the social worker led general discussions on symptomatology, the toxic side-effects of lithium, and the importance of medication compliance, while the psychiatrist reviewed the effectiveness of the pharmacotherapy with each patient individually. Drug compliance was good, and patients seemed pleased to discuss their problems with others having similar diagnoses. Most patients ended or reduced visits to their therapists, and staff time spent on lithium-taking patients was greatly reduced.

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