Theses Doctoral

Exploratory Study of Psychiatric Hospital Effectiveness and Factors Related to Client Aftercare Compliance and Rehospitalization in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

Havlena, Robert A.

Two related program evaluations of the mental health system in Puerto Rico are conducted. Initially, research is carried out in two state psychiatric hospitals involving an organizational analysis of relevant systems variables as they impinge upon effective institutional functioning. In this scheme hospital effectiveness is predicted by success in achieving formally prescribed goals and in the adequacy of resource utilization. The basic assumption is that the psychiatric hospital reflects the patterning of reciprocal and interdependent behaviors of individuals which form a larger all-important pattern. The hospitals are studied by means of a questionnaire administered to staff to ascertain perceptions of the work environment, communication and coordination processes, overall hospital organization, and the treatment environment.

The results of organizational functioning are presented in a profile analysis plotting institutional means over ten functional dimensions. Individual component variables are converted into standard scores and broken down by staff sub-groups. Each institution and staff sub-group differs uniquely across the dimensions. Overall the results point to excessive staff frustration and disillusionment with the organization's functions, and a treatment environment limited in patient autonomy, socio-emotional interaction, and therapeutic content.

The complementary study of first releases from these hospitals examines background and performance characteristics of a sample of patients in an effort to distinguish those who complied with aftercare referrals from those who did not, and those who were readmitted from those still in the community one year after release.

Bivariate analysis of the relationship between each of the two dependent variables and the several demographic and treatment variables at each hospital reveals that the strongest differentiation of compliers from non-compliers is having been active in pre-hospital outpatient care, while the extent of use of aftercare was the strongest predictor of remaining in the community.

Implications for policy and for further research in mental health service delivery are discussed.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Social Work
Thesis Advisors
Hackshaw, James O. F.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 26, 2015