This book poses the most important question in American psychiatry today: whether it is better to hospitalize psychotic patients or treat them through extra-hospital resources. As the authors state, "If we believe it is better to hospitalize, our present hospitals will always be full, new facilities for inpatients will have to be built, and our states will continue to labor under the financial burden of trying to provide adequate staffs and services. But if... it is better not to hospitalize, then the way is open for the development of extra-hospital facilities... and eventually the 'liquidation' of the state hospital as we know it. The state hospital will then function primarily to provide leadership for community-based care of the mentally ill."
The subject of this book is a project subsidized by an NIH grant and entitled, "Prevention of Hospitalization of Psychotic Patients Referred to the Massachusetts Mental Health Center."