THIS REPORT is a description of a method for studying the psychiatric and parapsychiatric experience of the population of a geographically demarcated community. The study was designed to utilize the unique characteristics of the community for epidemiological and ecological purposes. The locale is an island and hence its population is separated from other populations. The high cost of travel to the mainland in the face of low income further serves to keep the population isolated. Because of this isolation, virtually all medical and psychiatric services are secured within the community. Since migration is limited and measurable, the population at risk can be determined. Because caretaker relationships are informal and the community small in size, demographic data are readily acquired. These considerations make the community particularly suitable for epidemiological and ecological studies of mental and related disorders.
The technical device used in the study