A STUDY OF THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH CENTERS AND PUBLIC MENTAL HOSPITALS IN PENNSYLVANIA
The purpose of this study was to examine the two major components of the mental health delivery system in one state in an attempt to understand the relationship between the public mental hospitals and the community mental health centers. The study was designed to elicit information on (1) levels of cooperation between the community mental health centers and the public mental hospitals being studied and (2) factors which might be associated with those of levels of cooperation.
Data was obtained through survey questionnaires. The sample consisted of all thirteen public mental hospitals in Pennsylvania and twenty six community mental health centers. Information on levels of cooperation was obtained through questions on implementation of affiliation agreements, problem solving mechanisms, exchange of staff training, patient information, and a number of joint committees. For the most part, affiliation agreements were implemented with little difficulty except for emergencies and unplanned discharges. Community mental health centers used more informal means to attempt to solve problems which arose over the formal agreements than did the public mental hospitals. Analysis of data on the exchange of patients and patient information indicates that coordination efforts have improved greatly when contrasted with a similar national study completed more than a decade earlier. Exchange of training, exchange of staff and joint committees between the two types of organizations continue to be areas of minimal interaction.
A total cooperation score for each public mental hospital and community mental health center was calculated. Information on factors which might influence cooperation scores was elicited and formed the basis for the testing of four hypotheses: (1) There is a positive relationship between cooperation and the organizational structure of the community mental health center. (2) There is a positive relationship between cooperation and geographical proximity. (3) There is a negative relationship between cooperation and competition. (4) There is a positive relationship between cooperation and complementary rather than similar goals. Hypotheses 1 and 4 were not supported. Hypotheses 2 and 3 were partially supported.
Area planning & development
0999: Area planning & development