As good as it gets: an empirical study on mentally-ill patients and their stay at a general hospital in Sweden, 1896–1905

Malin Appelquist, Louise Brådvik, Ingemar Ottosson, Marie Åsberg

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Abstract

General hospital care and treatment of mentally ill patients in a Swedish town was studied in records for 503 patients, 1896–1905. Restraint was extremely rare; 65% left the hospital as healthy or improved. Non-psychotic and alcoholic patients spent fewer days in hospital than patients with psychosis or dementia. There was no evidence of a social status bias. For 36% of the patients a certificate for mental hospital care was issued, with additional information. The cause of illness was stated as unknown for 42% of these patients; adverse circumstances were recorded for 18%. Heredity for mental illness was found in 50% of the patients, particularly in those with mania. Patients with a higher social status were underrepresented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-226
JournalHistory of Psychiatry
Volume30
Issue number2
Early online date2019 Jan 23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • History
  • Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified

Keywords

  • 19th century
  • Gender
  • general hospital psychiatry
  • history
  • precipitating events
  • sociodemographic factors
  • state at discharge
  • Sweden
  • treatment

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