Effect of hospitallzation on weight of psychiatric patients



The hypothesis that patients hospitaUzed for long periods and receiving psychotrophic drugs increase in weight is tested, and it was discovered that women patients were somewhat heavier than their ‘standard’ weights. This, however, was not due to hospitalization or drug effects. Contrary to expectation, the ratio of observed/‘standard’ weight decreased in men suffering from chronic schizophrenia. In view of the loss of weight frequently observed in affective disorder patients, we discovered puzzling higher mean ratios in men with this illness.

This paper shows that small research projects can be carried out by nurses ·who are actively involved in patient care. It also demonstrates that small scale investigations, replicating locally some other research, testing its vahdity in a different setting are eminently worthwhile.