The Chronically Mentally Ill

  • Shirley M. Glynn
Part of the Critical Issues in Psychiatry book series (CIPS)


In working with the chronically mentally ill, empirical investigations and clinical treatments share many similarities. Both require a commitment to interacting with relatively impaired patients whose gains can typically be measured best after months or years of intervention, rather than days or weeks. Both involve working with patients who frequently have limited resources, lead impoverished lives, and require as much aid in the “nuts and bolts” of living as they do symptom relief. Finally, at least at our present level of knowledge, both researchers and clinicians who are working with the chronically mentally ill must be prepared to be confronted with the limits of their efforts. Whether they work in academic research settings or in public mental health clinics, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals must anticipate that, regardless of the intervention, the majority of chronically mentally ill patients are unable to return to their highest level of premorbid functioning (Stephens, 1978) and that some minority of patients appear to achieve very limited benefits from either psychopharmacologic and/or psychosocial treatments (Davis, Schaffer, Killian, Kinard, & Chan, 1980).


Schizophrenic Patient Cognitive Therapy Social Adjustment Veteran Administration Residential Facility 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shirley M. Glynn
    • 1
  1. 1.Veterans Administration Medical Center of West Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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