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Hosp Community Psychiatry. 1994 Jan;45(1):54-7.

Contributions of psychologists to inpatient care of persons with chronic mental illness.

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Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Oklahoma City.


Treatment of chronic mentally ill inpatients in public settings can be a difficult endeavor due to lack of adequate resources and problems in recruiting and retaining qualified staff. Psychologists can make a valuable contribution in state mental hospitals, offering a range of services that may be unknown to other disciplines. The authors describe seven areas in which clinical psychologists can facilitate quality patient care, including assessment, psychotherapy and rehabilitation, behavior modification, ward treatment programming, student and staff training, research, and administration. They also discuss ways to deal with conflicts that develop between personnel from various mental health disciplines, such as those around issues of control, prescription privileges for nonphysicians, and clinical decision making.

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