The journal of mental health administration

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 177–188 | Cite as

System impact and methodological issues in the development of an empirical topology of psychiatric hospital residents

  • Edward J. HoloheanJr.
  • Steven M. Banks
  • Blair A. Maddy
Regular Articles


The identification and categorization of similar objects or individuals into groups is a universal theme that permeates science and provides a conceptual framework to facilitate comprehension. For mental health administrators, a sound methodology to group individuals in a meaningful way would prove useful in the areas of general system understanding, as well as staffing, program planning and evaluation, and service system research, to name a few. Cluster analysis is a set of techniques that approach this grouping process empirically. Within the context of a large psychiatric hospital system, both the methodological processes involved in the application of cluster analysis and the resulting utility of such an analysis are discussed. Issues fundamental to the understanding of such a system are addressed. Special emphasis is placed on methodological issues regarding the application of cluster analytic techniques, which have left such techniques open for criticism. The value of such analyses, when used appropriately, is illustrated by the development of a stable, five-group typology of psychiatric hospital residents whose group characteristics are particularly germane to service system understanding. The implications of such a model for administration, planning, and research in a psychiatric hospital system are also addressed.


Mental Health Schizophrenia Psychiatric Hospital Mental Health System Community Psychiatry 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Association of Mental Health Administrators 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward J. HoloheanJr.
    • 1
  • Steven M. Banks
    • 2
  • Blair A. Maddy
    • 2
  1. 1.Survey Research Unit, Bureau of Evaluation and Services ResearchNew York State Office of Mental HealthAlbany
  2. 2.Mental Health Information Unit, Bureau of Planning Assistance and Coordination at the New York State Office of Mental HealthUSA

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