A survey to identify discharge criteria used by psychologists in New York State inpatient psychiatric facilities with chronic schizophrenic patients

Robert L Kayne, Pace University


The process involved in the determination of discharge readiness of psychiatric inpatients has not been adequately examined. There exist studies in the fields of Psychiatry and Social Work, but little has been done in Psychology. This project was constructed as a survey of psychologists working on inpatient psychiatric units in New York State psychiatric centers or in NY Veterans' Administration facilities. The project's goal was to try to provide a means of quantitatively determining those discharge criteria considered to be of greatest importance to such psychologists when they assess the discharge readiness of a chronic schizophrenic patient. Thirty-five long-term facilities were contacted, providing a total of two hundred thirty-six psychologists. More than seventy percent of psychologists contacted completed the survey. A three-page survey form was sent to these identified psychologists. The first two pages consisted of lists of specific behaviors that had been identified in the professional literature as having an influence on the discharge decision. The first page was composed of fourteen "positive" indicators, behaviors that demonstrated social competency, while the second page listed fourteen "negative" factors, behaviors indicating psychopathology. Respondents were asked to rank ten of the listed behaviors on each page, in terms of importance with regard to "discharge of a chronic schizophrenic patient from your facility". The final page of the survey requested demographic and professional characteristics of the respondents, and also asked the respondent to select the "three items you consider most important in discharge readiness". The results of the survey demonstrated that certain discharge criteria were chosen more frequently and given a higher ranked position by psychologists in New York State psychiatric facilities. No significant differences between groups was obtained when respondent or facility characteristics were examined. No significant differences were found among the various demographic groups, nor did professional characteristics of psychologists produce significant differences. The obtained results of this survey have permitted the development of a checklist of important discharge readiness criteria. This checklist, consisting of seven identified behaviors, can be used in the assessment of a patient's readiness for discharge, can facilitate a patient's more rapid return to the community and can permit more constructive and efficient communication among staff.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Kayne, Robert L, "A survey to identify discharge criteria used by psychologists in New York State inpatient psychiatric facilities with chronic schizophrenic patients" (1989). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI9015215.



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