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Acta Psychiatr Scand Suppl. 2006;(429):101-8.

The chronic psychiatric patient: problems, promises and perspectives, past, present and future.

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  • 1University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.



To present an overview of the issues involving the severely and chronically mentally ill over the past 50 years and summarize new research that may aid them.


To present the problems that have faced and will face this population, the promises that have been made about and to them, and assess how well we fulfilled our promises and handled the problems.


We have made some but not enough progress in solving the problems facing the severely and chronic mentally ill in the past and at present, but the future holds more hope if recent solid, practical, economically feasible mental health services research is translated through policy and practice into better patient care.


As pessimistic as we often are about the plight of the chronic mentally ill, their future can be better if recent research is implemented.

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