Inpatient diagnoses during adolf meyer’s tenure as director of the henry phipps psychiatric clinic, 1913-1940

Joseph H. Stephens, Kay Y. Ota, William W. More, John W. Shaffer, Lino Covi

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5 Scopus citations


Between 1936 and 1950, detailed abstracts were prepared on all patients admitted to The Phipps Psychiatric Clinic from its opening in 1913 through 1950. Of these abstracts, 74% contained follow-up reports. Except for four papers on schizophrenia and affective disorders published between 1939 and 1943, none of this material has ever been analyzed. The present paper, the first of a series, examines the 8172 first admissions from 1913 through 1940, the period of Adolf Meyer’s tenure as Clinic Director. Based on discharge diagnoses, we have sorted the patients into eight diagnostic groups with the following frequencies; schizophrenia, 17%; paranoid state, 3%; manic-depressive, 7%; depression, 27%; organic, 20%; neuroses, 15%; substance abuse, 6%; psychopath, 5%. Our manic-depressive group contains cases discharged primarily as hyperthymergasia, mania, or manic depressive insanity (MDI). Of the 349 cases diagnosed MDI at discharge, 10 had neither a history of nor present symptoms of mania, and these were put in the depression group. Frequencies for most of the diagnoses remained remarkably stable over the 28-year period. Only 9% were discharged recovered, whereas 43% were rated unimproved. Mean length of hospitalization was 76 days, with 10% of the patients readmitted. The mean length of follow-up was 9 years. Correlations of diagnoses, year of admission, length of stay, condition at discharge, age, sex, readmissions, change of diagnoses, somatic treatment, length of follow-up, and deaths in the clinic are presented. Meyer’s influence on diagnostic practice is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)747-751
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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