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The Mixed Medical-Psychiatric Unit: An Alternative Approach to Inpatient Psychiatric Care
Richard A. Markoff; Brian S. Yano; Jing Hsu; Debra Hordan Wright
Psychiatric Services 1981; doi:
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John A. Burns School of Medicine University of Hawaii Honolulu, Hawaii

St. Francis Hospital Honolulu, Hawaii

American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

In a 256-bed general hospital, psychiatric patients are cared for on a single unit with medical patients. The unit, developed in collaboration with a state university's medical school, has been employed successfully in the teaching of psychiatric residents and medical students and bas provided benefits to both the psychiatric and medical patients. A normalizing effect on the disturbed behavior of psychiatric patients has been observed and has been attributed to the presence of nonpsychiatric patients, and the treatment of medical patients on the unit has been humanized through greater nurse-patient interaction and the provision of activity programs and recreational facilities. The experience indicates that a wide range of psychiatric patients can be cared for in a mixed setting and that such a setting fosters continuity of care. The limitations of the unit and the policies and conditions necessary for its operation are discussed.

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