Views from an asylum: a retrospective case note analysis of a nineteenth century asylum

Elvina Chu, JM van Santen, Vijay Harbishettar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose
To investigate whether lifelong admission to psychiatric asylum care was usual practice before community psychiatric care was introduced.

Methods
Historical archives (1838–1938) for 50 patients at the Northampton General Lunatic Asylum in England were studied. Regression analyses were performed to investigate associations between predictor variables (age, gender, marital status, social class) and outcomes (diagnoses, length of stay and admission outcomes).

Results
30 patients (70%) were discharged into the community. 15 (31%) patients were admitted longer than 1 year. Diagnosis of mania was significantly higher in patients who were married. Trend associations were observed for melancholia being diagnosed in higher social class patients and monomania being diagnosed in unmarried patients. No associations were found between predictor variables and length of stay or admission outcomes.

Conclusions
These findings challenge the myth that asylum incarceration was a usual practice before the advent of community care. Most patients were discharged from psychiatric asylum hospital within a year of admission even before the advent of psychotropic medication.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberhttps://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-018-1575-1
Number of pages7
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2018

Cite this

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title = "Views from an asylum: a retrospective case note analysis of a nineteenth century asylum",
abstract = "PurposeTo investigate whether lifelong admission to psychiatric asylum care was usual practice before community psychiatric care was introduced.MethodsHistorical archives (1838–1938) for 50 patients at the Northampton General Lunatic Asylum in England were studied. Regression analyses were performed to investigate associations between predictor variables (age, gender, marital status, social class) and outcomes (diagnoses, length of stay and admission outcomes).Results30 patients (70{\%}) were discharged into the community. 15 (31{\%}) patients were admitted longer than 1 year. Diagnosis of mania was significantly higher in patients who were married. Trend associations were observed for melancholia being diagnosed in higher social class patients and monomania being diagnosed in unmarried patients. No associations were found between predictor variables and length of stay or admission outcomes.ConclusionsThese findings challenge the myth that asylum incarceration was a usual practice before the advent of community care. Most patients were discharged from psychiatric asylum hospital within a year of admission even before the advent of psychotropic medication.",
keywords = "Asylum, Psychiatric in-patients, Admission, Community care",
author = "Elvina Chu and {van Santen}, JM and Vijay Harbishettar",
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year = "2018",
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journal = "Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology",
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Views from an asylum: a retrospective case note analysis of a nineteenth century asylum. / Chu, Elvina; van Santen, JM; Harbishettar, Vijay.

In: Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 06.08.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Views from an asylum: a retrospective case note analysis of a nineteenth century asylum

AU - Chu, Elvina

AU - van Santen, JM

AU - Harbishettar, Vijay

N1 - Please contact me if you'd like to know more about this article.

PY - 2018/8/6

Y1 - 2018/8/6

N2 - PurposeTo investigate whether lifelong admission to psychiatric asylum care was usual practice before community psychiatric care was introduced.MethodsHistorical archives (1838–1938) for 50 patients at the Northampton General Lunatic Asylum in England were studied. Regression analyses were performed to investigate associations between predictor variables (age, gender, marital status, social class) and outcomes (diagnoses, length of stay and admission outcomes).Results30 patients (70%) were discharged into the community. 15 (31%) patients were admitted longer than 1 year. Diagnosis of mania was significantly higher in patients who were married. Trend associations were observed for melancholia being diagnosed in higher social class patients and monomania being diagnosed in unmarried patients. No associations were found between predictor variables and length of stay or admission outcomes.ConclusionsThese findings challenge the myth that asylum incarceration was a usual practice before the advent of community care. Most patients were discharged from psychiatric asylum hospital within a year of admission even before the advent of psychotropic medication.

AB - PurposeTo investigate whether lifelong admission to psychiatric asylum care was usual practice before community psychiatric care was introduced.MethodsHistorical archives (1838–1938) for 50 patients at the Northampton General Lunatic Asylum in England were studied. Regression analyses were performed to investigate associations between predictor variables (age, gender, marital status, social class) and outcomes (diagnoses, length of stay and admission outcomes).Results30 patients (70%) were discharged into the community. 15 (31%) patients were admitted longer than 1 year. Diagnosis of mania was significantly higher in patients who were married. Trend associations were observed for melancholia being diagnosed in higher social class patients and monomania being diagnosed in unmarried patients. No associations were found between predictor variables and length of stay or admission outcomes.ConclusionsThese findings challenge the myth that asylum incarceration was a usual practice before the advent of community care. Most patients were discharged from psychiatric asylum hospital within a year of admission even before the advent of psychotropic medication.

KW - Asylum

KW - Psychiatric in-patients

KW - Admission

KW - Community care

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JO - Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

JF - Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

SN - 0933-7954

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