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Hosp Community Psychiatry. 1978 Aug;29(8):512-6.

Literacy skills of long-term hospitalized mental patients.


The authors tested 48 patients who had lived in a state psychiatric hospital for extended periods to determine their literacy levels. Measures used were the reading test portion of the Adult Basic Learning Examination (ABLE) and selected questions from the Adult Performance Level (APL) test, which attempts to assess competencies necessary to function effectively in society. Nearly half of the patients scored at the fourth-grade level or below on the ABLE, and their scores on the APL were well below norms for other groups. No correlation was found between number of years of hospitalization and test performance. From the findings the authors conclude that both in-hospital and aftercare programs must recognize that literacy level is an important factor in the the rehabilitation or recidivism of patients.

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