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Psychiatric in-patients receive fewer greetings cards than other in-patients

  • Sudheer Lankappa (a1) and Sean A. Spence (a2)
Abstract
Aims and Method

Greetings cards (wishing patients well) appear less abundant on psychiatric wards than other in-patient facilities. We tested this hypothesis in three cross-sectional surveys of teaching hospitals in Sheffield.

Results

On each occasion, psychiatric wards contained significantly fewer card recipients (χ2 test, P<0.001). Individual recipients in psychiatric wards received significantly fewer cards than recipients in general hospitals (Kruskal–Wallis test, P<0.05).

Clinical Implications

Although receiving a card might seem a trivial matter, it nevertheless denotes the outcome of an altruistic act, which may be appreciated by its recipient. Psychiatric in-patients receive fewer such acts of kindness than other in-patients. These data concur with other recent reports suggesting that the stigma of mental illness extends to expressions of altruism.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Bromley, J. S. & Cunningham, S. J. (2004) ‘You don't bring me flowers any more’: an investigation into the experience of stigma by psychiatric in-patients. Psychiatric Bulletin, 28, 371374.
Crisp, A. H., Cowan, L. & Hart, D. (2004) The College's Anti-Stigma Campaign, 1998–2003: A shortened version of the concluding report. Psychiatric Bulletin, 28, 133136.
De Falco, M. L. (1975) The rehospitalization of discharged schizophrenic patients. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 13, 130135.
Dinos, S., Stevens, S., Serfaty, M., et al (2004) Stigma: the feelings and experiences of 46 people with mental illness: qualitative study. British Journal of Psychiatry, 184, 176181.
Salokangas, R. K., Loikkanen, T. & Santala, H. (1990) The patients of a special psychogeriatric ward: psychosocial situation, clinical disorder and results of treatment. Psychiatria Fennica, 21, 175188.
Wiener, A., Wessely, S. & Lewis, G. (1999) ‘You don't give me flowers anymore’: an analysis of gift-giving to medical and psychiatric inpatients. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 34, 136140.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Psychiatric in-patients receive fewer greetings cards than other in-patients

  • Sudheer Lankappa (a1) and Sean A. Spence (a2)
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