Toward a taxonomy of inpatient treatment environments

Subjected a national sample of 144 inpatient treatment programs, measured on 10 dimensions of ward atmosphere, to cluster analysis to develop an empirically based taxonomy of treatment programs. 6 distinctive clusters of treatment programs were identified: therapeutic community, relationship oriented, action oriented, insight oriented, control oriented, and disturbed behavior. The clusters showed systematic differences in institutional affiliation, program size, and patient-staff ratios. Implications of these findings for the possible interrelations between objective ecological variables and perceived social environments are discussed. It is suggested that an empirically derived taxonomy of treatment environments is a necessary step in understanding which types of treatment programs produce optimal outcomes for various types of patients. (33 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)