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  • Cited by 1
  • Print publication year: 1992
  • Online publication date: May 2010

8 - The daily life of ambulatory chronic mental patients



Time-sampling research using self-report instruments has described the daily life patterns of people in different nations (Szalai, 1972; Robinson, 1977) and communities (Barker, 1968, 1978) and subjects of different ages (Csikszentmihalyi & Larson, 1984). These studies present a rich body of significant findings that differentiate behavior and activities within subjects over time and between categories of subjects. In spite of the accruing evidence for the variability of human reactivity and behavior, recent static pathological typologies for use in neuropsychiatric research (Crow, 1980, 1982; Andreasen, 1982; Pao, 1979) and bureaucratic third-party reimbursement schemes (Mason et al., 1985; Sinclair & Alexson, 1985; Widem et al., 1984; Rupp et al., 1984) stress the general view that chronic mental disorders are invariable over long periods of time. Nevertheless, there are studies to the contrary suggesting that subtypes of schizophrenia evolve in relation to context and life stages (Kendler et al., 1985) and that have traced the increased morbidity of illness throughout the life cycle (Bleuler, 1978; Ciompi & Mtiller, 1976). Recent work in schizophrenia research has taken a more detailed look at the onset of the disorder (Donlon & Blaker, 1973, 1975; Docherty et al., 1978; Chapman & Chapman, 1980), its relapse (Heinrichs & Carpenter, 1985) and recovery from acute episodes (Szymanski et al., 1983). These inquiries suggest that it would be wise to take a closer look at chronic illness and take variations in social environment (Zubin et al., 1985) and changes in the vulnerability of the subject over time more fully into account (Strauss et al., 1981, 1985).