, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 5-12

Mental patients' attraction to the hospital: Correlates of living preference

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Mental patients often show attraction to the hospital as a living alternative. In this study, 187 aftercare patients of an urban state hospital were examined for correlates of hospital attraction. Several variables, including background characteristics, psychosocial problems, psychiatric symptoms, substance abuse, and medication noncompliance, characterized the approximately 25% of the sample who showed hospital attraction. A logistic regression model for hospital attraction indicated that past hospital tenure, problems obtaining regular meals, positive symptoms of psychosis, and severe drug abuse contributed separately to the variance. The authors discuss the implications of these findings for treatment and public policy.

This research was supported in part by National Institute of Mental Health Level II Research Scientist Development Award 1-KO2-MH-00839-01.