The closing of central state hospital: Long-term outcomes for persons with severe mental illness

John H. McGrew, Eric R. Wright, Bernice A. Pescosolido, Elizabeth C. McDonel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    29 Scopus citations


    This study examined the clinical/community functioning of long-stay patients following closing of a large state psychiatric hospital. Two overlapping samples were followed: (1) the tracking project collected information on patient location, treatment provision, legal contacts, and level of functioning (LOF) and Closing of a State Hospital: An Overview and Framework for a Case Study followed all discharged patients and (2) the research study subsample, drawn from the final group of discharged patients, gathered information on quality of life (QOL), LOF, and general physical and mental health. At follow-up, patients were functioning equal to or better than prior to discharge. There were consistent improvements in QOL (especially safety and occupational satisfaction) and LOF (especially housing and income/benefits). Fewer than 27% of patients discharged into the community were rehospitalized, and fewer than 4% were either in jail or homeless after 24 months. The study demonstrates that even persons who have been hospitalized for extremely long periods can do well in the community.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)246-261
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Behavioral Health Services and Research
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Aug 1 1999

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health(social science)
    • Health Policy
    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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