Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Most studies of predictors of treatment disposition have involved only two alternative dispositions, e.g., hospitalization vs. non-hospitalization (Rabinowitz et al., 1995). The first problem of this thesis was to study predictors of decisions about treatment disposition with reference to a broader range of dispositions that included outpatient psychiatric medication evaluation, outpatient counseling /psychotherapy, and psychiatric day treatment, as well as inpatient hospitalization. The second problem of this thesis examined the contribution that individual assessors play in determining treatment decisions. This thesis was an archival study using coded data based on assessment of persons seeking emergency room services at a hospital whose psychiatric unit was operated by Menninger Services of Kansas City. The sample consisted of all persons (N = 605) referred to this psychiatric unit during the period extending from January 1997 through December 1998. Each person was seen by one assessor: the assessments were conducted by 33 different assessors. Confidentiality of the assessment data was assured by coding so that no names or other identifying characteristics could be associated with the data. Several assessor x disposition chi-square analyses uniformly indicated that individual assessors were a factor in contributing to recommendations about treatment dispositions. Further results involved multivariate analyses of three different regression models with the same predictors but different recommended dispositions or combinations of dispositions. Findings from those analyses clearly indicated that whether or not a variable is a predictor of a recommended disposition depended in part on which dispositions (models) were examined. These results suggest that further research on predictors of treatment dispositions would do well to study this problem with reference to a broad range of dispositions. It appears that such studies would result in a more accurate picture of factors that are actually involved in complex decisions about treatment.


Richard P. Schellenberg

Date of Award

Fall 2000

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 2000 Michelle D. Howe


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