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Knopf, O. (1944). Mental Hygiene for Community Nursing: By Eric Kent Clarke, M.D. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1942. 262 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 13:116-117.

(1944). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 13:116-117

Mental Hygiene for Community Nursing: By Eric Kent Clarke, M.D. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1942. 262 pp.

Review by:
Olga Knopf

In a clear and swift manner, Dr. Clarke shows in his first chapter how much neglected the psychiatric training of the public health nurse is, and the important rôle mental hygiene could and should play in community health. The author describes in actual short case histories the nature of the various problems in the field of mental hygiene, some of their precipitating factors, and the measures taken for correction. He follows the individual from his birth well into his adult life. In discussing the various conduct disorders, he points out the right moment for the school nurse to take over. The problems of adoption are particularly well presented, and advice is given with wisdom and restraint.

Less well presented are some of the problems taken up under the heading, The Adolescent. The author describes, for instance, an eighteen-year-old boy who does needlework, knitting and cooking, in the company of his mother, in preference to athletic activities. Dr. Clarke classifies this problem as 'over-submissive' and complains that no headway was made at the psychiatric clinic. The psychoanalyst is not surprised! This kind of oversimplification is misleading and, if the author felt that no more could be said about the dynamics of this case, it had better been omitted from the list.

The importance of the proper approach to the mental state of the convalescent and invalid is emphasized; the selection of the right kind of occupational therapy, including books, is worked out well.

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