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Group Therapy, Social Competence, and Hospital Stay

Stuart Schwartz, PhD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;18(5):559-561. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740050047008.
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IT APPEARS to be a widely held clinical belief that increasing patient-professional staff interaction will lead to more rapid and more lasting recovery. Without increasing staff, the most practical method for achieving more staff-patient interaction on a large scale is the use of group programs. Very few studies, however, have explicitly and systematically explored the effects of such group programs on hospital history and posthospital community stay. Moreover, the available studies most often involve questions about either or both particular patient groups or particular therapy methods.1 Data on the effects of introducing a large scale group program in an acute treatment service containing a heterogeneous patient group are rare, despite the fact that the patients comprising such units account for the great bulk of new patients admitted to most psychiatric hospitals, and that group therapy programs are often run on such units. Fairweather and Simon2

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