Skip to main content

Note on a New Case-book Form

  • W. R. Dawson (a1)

There are two systems of recording cases in use in asylums. The first, dispensing with all but a very few headings, notes the facts in consecutive order, and their value or worthlessness depends entirely on the experience of the writer. The second (of which the method employed at the Murray Royal Asylum, Perth, is the most thoroughgoing example) seeks by numerous printed divisions to ensure that no fact of importance will be missed. Those who support the former urge that multiplication of headings encourages a mechanical and perfunctory manner of case-taking, that the resulting record is scrappy and disconnected, that intelligent amplification of salient features is sacrificed to the noting of many unimportant facts, and lastly that, as the divisions are never all filled in any individual case, the case-book presents an untidy and ill-kept appearance. It must be admitted that there is a good deal of truth in these objections; but, on the other hand, when we consider that asylum notes are often taken by inexperienced assistants, for whom some guide is essential, and that even those of larger experience are sometimes in danger of forgetting to record the isolated facts, the expediency of using some method of meeting these difficulties is obvious. The free use of headings certainly does this, while at the same time it enables facts of the history, often hard to elicit at first, to be entered in their proper sequence from time to time, according as they are discovered; and lastly, headings greatly facilitate reference.

Hide All

(1) Read at meeting of the Irish Division, May 23rd, 1902.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 2514-9946
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 3 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 7 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 19th February 2018 - 20th June 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Note on a New Case-book Form

  • W. R. Dawson (a1)
Submit a response


No eLetters have been published for this article.


Reply to: Submit a response

Your details

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *