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The relationship between legal status and patient characteristics in state hospitals
Am J Psychiatry 1986;143:1233-1237.
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Abstract

Concerns raised in response to proposals that general hospitals admit patients who currently receive acute care in state hospitals have focused primarily on certain assumptions about the characteristics of involuntary patients in contrast to their voluntary counterparts. The author compared a group of voluntary and involuntary patients in seven state hospitals. Contrary to some recent reports, legal status was not associated with chronicity, prevalence of psychosis, extent of social ties as measured by marital status and living situation, or need for seclusion or restraint. The two groups differed significantly in median length of stay but in an opposite direction from that previously reported.

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