There was a NY Times article today that outlined the degradation that people experience when they are admitted to hospitals or health care systems. I was a little bothered by the fact that this was presented as some type of news flash. I guess no one was listening over 30 years ago when Madelaine Gray talked about the same issue. This is probably too arcane for non-OT readers to find, but the citation is: Gray, M. (1972). Effects of hospitalization on work-play behavior, American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 26, 180-185.

So there are a few problems here. First, we knew about a problem over 30 years ago, discussed it and debated it, but here we still are without a solution. That is just inexcusable, and I wouldn't blame patients for revolting.

Second, how frustrating is it to be Madelaine Gray? I don't know if she is alive, and I doubt this could ever reach her ears or eyes, but I wish I could tell her that someone did hear her and that she was correct.

As for the Times article, it is around 30 years too late.


Anonymous said…
Hi Chris....you may be surpised...but I did find your post about the NY Times article and my study of the effects of hospitalization. Over the years, I have heard many people say that they have referred to my study...and it is gratifying to know that my ideas are not just sitting on a shelf.

Although I have not done another study on effects of hospitalization, I'm sure that in some areas things have improved and in others that the hospital environment has worsened - due to the focus on financial survival.

What I think is most important is for each of us to do what we can, in any environment, to assess and analyze the impact of the environment on ourselves and others - and then to do whatever we can to change the environment so that it promotes dignity, self-respect, individuality, and optimal functioning.

I am no longer working directly in occupational therapy - but the principles and ideals of occupational therapy still guide my life. I established my photography business about 19 years ago...and sell my photographs at art shows and exhibitions. If you are interested, please visit www.madelainegray.com.

My best wishes to you, Madelaine

Popular posts from this blog

When writing gives you the willies: Reconsidering 'tactile defensiveness'

Deconstructing the myth of clothing sensitivity as a 'sensory processing disorder'

On retained primitive reflexes