PMID: 1469Jan 1, 1976

A model to replace psychiatric hospitals

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease
P R Polak, M W Kirby


A comprehensive system of community treatment in southwest Denver has reduced the need for adult psychiatric inpatient beds to less than 1/100,000 population. Six small, community-based therapeutic environments, crisis intervention, home treatment, social systems intervention, and rapid tranquilization comprise the essential components of this total community care system. The system operates within a framework of citizen participation and community control, the elimination of formal staff offices, and a focus on working in the real-life setting of the client and his family. To evaluate the effectiveness of community care, patients about to be hospitalized were randomly assigned to a psychiatric hospital or to community alternative treatment. Outcome measures at discharge and at follow-up completed by the client himself, treatment staff, and family members indicate that community treatment was more effective than psychiatric hospitalization.


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Related Concepts

Assertive Community Treatment
Public Participation
Critical Incident Stress Debriefing
Psychiatric Hospital
Professional-Patient Relations
Schizophreniform Disorders

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