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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Social implications of readmissions of veteran patients to Shaughnessy Hospital, D.V.A Clohosey, Mary Edward Annie


Essentially, the subject of this thesis is the problem of multiple hospital admissions, and the possible psychosocial etiology of these admissions. Chronic readmissions to hospital are of concern to social workers, to hospital personnel, and to the wider community, in view of the numerous and varied concommitant problems which may involve not only the patient, but any number of other persons or projects in the community. A survey of the several hundred referrals made to the Medical Social Service Department at Shaughnessy Hospital, Vancouver, during the fiscal year studied (1952-53) points up the fact that more than half of this referral group constitutes patient readmissions, and that at least one-quarter of the readmitted group might be considered as having a chronic readmission pattern. The manner in which this present study is approached is through detailed examination of data on district office files and medical social service case records, relative to a group of fifty-one veteran patients with a chronic readmission pattern, referred to the Medical Social Service Department at Shaughnessy, for varied medical-social problems. Findings of this study indicate that psychosocial factors, at least among the group selected, weigh heavily in a pattern of chronic hospital readmissions. Judging from the retarded referrals, there does not seem to be a sufficient awareness, on the part of a number of hospital personnel, that the admission pattern of many veterans contains a substantial psychosocial element, and/or if such is realized, that medical social services might be beneficial in rehabilitating the patients concerned. The onus for remedying this situation lies not only with the staff of the Medical Social Service Department at Shaughnessy, but with administration, with the medical staff, and with all DVA personnel interested in helping the veteran to function adequately outside the hospital setting.

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