First Advisor

June Dunn

Term of Graduation

Spring 1971

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work




Mentally ill -- Care, Psychotherapy patients -- Behavior, Psychiatric hospital care -- After care -- Evaluation



Physical Description

1 online resource (3, v, 88 leaves)


This is an exploratory follow-up study of the clientele of the Psychiatric Crisis Unit, a short-term, crisis-oriented inpatient psychiatric ward. The main objective of the research was to test the following null hypothesis: there are no significant differences between those individuals who attempt to gain aftercare treatment as opposed to those individuals who do not following discharge from the Crisis Unit.

A sample of fifty-one voluntary patients who consented to participate in the study was used in testing this hypothesis. Each subject completed the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (M.M.P.I.) and a sociological questionnaire while in the Crisis Unit, and a follow-up questionnaire was administered via telephone or personal contact approximately one month after discharge. The follow-up information was used to determine whether the subject fell into the "aftercare” or "no-aftercare" group. Data collection lasted from July 1, 1970 to December 15, 1970. The data revealed that there were significant differences between the groups and, thus, the null hypothesis was rejected.

The ten M.M.P.I. scales revealed no significant differences between the groups on the individual scales. However, when examined collectively, the aftercare group scored higher than the no-aftercare group on all scales except Self-Sufficiency (which is scored in the opposite direction, corroborating the tendency in the other scales). A discriminant function correctly classified seventy-three percent of the subjects. These results indicate that the aftercare subjects probably viewed themselves as "needing" more help.

The significant predictor variables found included prior familial and personal experiences similar to those bringing the subject to the Unit, employment status, age, diagnostic designation, length of hospitalization, referral planning, and self-ratings on a mood scale which was administered upon discharge from the Crisis Unit. These variables were obtained with less effort than the psychological test data.

It was found that the aftercare group (compared to the other group) was younger, had a higher rate of unemployment, and had a higher rate of familial and prior personal experiences. They were also diagnosed more frequently as psychotic, with depression ranking second, and rated themselves lower on the mood scale scores. However, the difference between the before and after mood scale scores revealed that these subjects felt they had "gained" more than the no-aftercare subjects.

The no-aftercare group was diagnosed more frequently as depressed, with behavior/character disorders ranking second. They tended to rate themselves higher on the mood scale scores. However, the differences between the before and after mood scale scores revealed that they had not "progressed" as much as the aftercare subjects.

Although not statistically significant, it was found that the aftercare subjects were hospitalized two days longer than the subjects of the no-aftercare group. More significant is the fact that the aftercare group had a higher rate of rehospitalization than the no-aftercare group.

Data collected concerning the referral process revealed that aftercare subjects were more frequently referred for treatment than were subjects of the no-aftercare group.

It was speculated that those subjects who perceived themselves and/or were perceived as being "sicker" would seek further help after discharge from the Crisis Unit. The findings also suggested that not all patients need or perceived themselves as needing further help.


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