||Williams IJ, Healey EN & Gow C
||The death throes of tradition: change in a tuberculosis
||SOC SCI MED 1971, 5, 545-559.
The purpose of this study was to show any changes
that may have taken place in an institution when the primary function
of the institution was changed. In 1968, researchers from the Faculty
of Nursing, University of Western Ontario, Canada, began to study
patient-satisfaction in the Sanatorium which was converted from
an institution devoted to treating only TB to treating a larger
category of diseases. A loosely-structured interview method was
used as patients' responses to the researchers' questionnaire was
poor. Informal talks were held with patients, staff and physicians.
The people at the Sanatorium were candid and open in their reactions;
hence the impressions gained were actual reflections. A redefinition
of the objectives and procedures in the Sanatorium caused a complete
reorganization of the social structure and changed basic perspectives
on treatment policies, in turn, leading to the bringing in of a
new administration. The nurses had the most difficult adjustments
to make, being challenged by a new type of patient, a new administration
and a substantially new approach to nursing. Patient-reactions were
varied and based on whether they were old-timers, active cases or
newcomers. As suggested by the title, this article illustrates how
an institution dies efficiently by adopting the above method and
by moving the entire operation to new settings. In a historical
review, Angrist (1968) anticipates the death of mental hospitals
and the passing on to community-based health clinics and home treatment.
In summary, the institution is an integral part of society and has
to operate as per its defined goal. Concerning TB, public perceptions
have radically changed while for mental illness, there has not been
enough change in perceptions to result in major structural change
|KEYWORDS: SOCIAL CHANGE; USA.