L'Information Psychiatrique


Le recours à l’hospitalisation psychiatrique au XX e siècle Volume 83, issue 7, Septembre 2007


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Hôpital Erasme, BP85, 92160 Antony

Evolution in recourse to psychiatric hospitalisation in the course of the 20th century.Based on quantitative data collected in the 20th century, the present study is devoted to the practice of psychiatric internment. Three main periods emerge. From 1900 to 1939, long internments translate into an increase in the number of patients present on a given day. From 1939 to 1946 the drama of war produced an overly high rate of mortality in the mentally ill, despite measures taken on their behalf in late 1942. Lastly, from 1945 to the end of the century, there was a revolution in practices: entry and discharge levels climbed steadily, but shorter hospital stays had the effect of capping then decreasing the number of patients present on a given day. This evolution varied according to the diagnosis. These observations lead us to clarify the notion of deinstitutionalisation and to tackle some unanswered questions.