a) Sociological considerations
AU : Williams IJ, Healey EN & Gow C
TI : The death throes of tradition: change in a tuberculosis sanatorium.
SO : SOC SCI MED 1971, 5, 545-559.
DT : Per
AB :

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 in treatment.