Five inferences drawn from research studies in the social sciences on the assessment of psychiatric ward atmospheres are presented as a frame of reference for psychiatric occupational therapists. The studies, based on a model stating that behavior results from the interaction of person and environment, suggest procedures for increasing successful treatment outcomes in occupational therapy. Such procedures include matching patients and staff to behavioral settings according to individual response traits and the development of programs emphasizing such variables as spontaneity, autonomy, and involvement.

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