Characteristics of state hospital patients who are hard to place

Hosp Community Psychiatry. 1988 Feb;39(2):181-5. doi: 10.1176/ps.39.2.181.


As a result of deinstitutionalization, acute care beds in state hospitals have become blocked by patients who lack access to appropriate community placements but who have derived maximum benefit from hospital care. To help plan community services for these patients, this study identified and described patients at an Oregon state hospital who were hospitalized longer than therapeutically necessary because no community facility could treat them. A total of 146 patients were identified during a three-month period, and 81 were described; 65 percent were men, 70 percent were schizophrenic, and 90 percent presented a risk to themselves or others. The patients exhibited few strengths, and one-third had a substance abuse problem, at least one counter-therapeutic attitude, or a need for medical monitoring. The authors describe how new community residential facilities can meet the needs of these difficult patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Community Mental Health Services* / supply & distribution*
  • Dangerous Behavior
  • Deinstitutionalization / trends*
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Psychiatric / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospitals, Public / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hospitals, State / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Discharge / trends
  • Social Adjustment
  • United States