Abstract

Pennhurst Center closed in 1987, and the closure was one of the most intensely studied of all deinstitutionalizations. Because of recent interest in mortality after deinstitutionalization, we examined all deaths from 1978 to 1989 among the people who had resided at Pennhurst in 1978. During the period from 1978 to 1989;every person moved from Pennhurst to a community home. Relocation literature would suggest that this might be a time of high risk of mortality. However, the actual mortality rates were considerably lower than what would have been expected if Pennhurst had remained in operation, even though the stress of relocation was present. Movement to community homes appeared to improve survival for the Pennhurst people.

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