Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 111-118

First online:

Problems in the evaluation of day hospitals

  • William GuyAffiliated withBiometric Laboratory, George Washington UniversitySpringfield Stat Hospital
  • , Gertrude M. GrossAffiliated withBaltimore City Psychiatric Da Center

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The day hospital has been utilized as a means both to maintain and improve remission status of previously hospitalized patients and, more recently, as an alternative to inpatient treatment. Although uniformly encouraging, the reports of treatment success are ambiguous and complicated by the recency and diversity of the programs. Proposals to reduce confusion in the areas of identification of population, definition of treatment, treatment effects, and assessment procedures are discussed. The concept of therapeutic community with its emphasis on socialization processes makes symptom reduction alone an insufficient criterion of treatment success. More comprehensive measures of the permanency of remission and quality of social adjustment are advocated.