The authors studied the amount of understanding that 100 mental hospital
patients had a voluntary admission application they signed upon entering
the hospital. Only 8 patients were rated as being completely informed of
terms of the contract at the time of admission; 15 of 33 patients
reinterviewed about 10 days after admission showed increased understanding.
Minimal differences were found between 81 state hospital patients and 19
private hospital patients. The finding that few voluntary patients are
fully informed to give consent to hospitalization poses a dilemma because
of the trend to give personal responsibility to the patient.