Physical Medicine Rehabilitation

Institutional Neurosis by Russell Barton

By Russell Barton

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Sample text

It is desirable to criticize patients' behaviour a n d appearance good naturedly, for this not only acts as a gentle influence persuading them to conform in a more socially acceptable way, but, perhaps more important, shows them that they matter. It may be months before any flicker of response occurs confirming t h a t contact has been m a d e . This few minutes' contact from the w a r d doctor needs to be supple­ mented by similar individual attention from an attendant and from the head nurse.

3 Lettart to etlent Weekly phone call Fig. —Contact with the outside world. JJIii" WEEK-END LEAVE ΤΤΤΤΤΤΓ DAY VISITS HOME Public telephone« Vbte to ward partii. comwMintty anging, «te V»»fa to »odd dub to m«« O F LEAGUE O F FRIENDS I N C A T C H H E N T AREA SOCIAL C L U B A N D HEADQUARTERS fflmsss EX! CD CTI LU QJOJ t u B UI Patient's Home or Relatives' Homes BBB o w d l H O H H o H as W H M > INSTITUTIONAL NEUROSIS T h e re-establishment of contact, although greatly facilitated by such measures, requires above all an awareness of its importance by everyone concerned with the patient—from members of the highest administrative authority, the Hospital M a n a g e m e n t Committee, medical a n d nursing staff, relatives a n d members of the League of Friends a n d the Health Authorities in the patient's home district.

It m a y be desirable for an attendant to accompany the patient in some instances, b u t if the relative has been brought into the patient's hospital life this may not be necessary. An important function of a n attendant accompanying a patient home m a y be to restrain the relatives from doing everything for her. Patients have complained about the solicitous attentions of relatives which make them feel unnecessary and a nuisance. ' Liaison between the mental hospital nurse and a public health nurse carrying out the activities suggested by Shalit (1948) is profitable.

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