Recent Study Aims to Reduce Enforced Psychiatric Admission

by Bruce Boyers

It’s incredibly interesting that it’s taken over 100 years for psychiatry to make this discovery, but a recent study has found that compulsory psychiatric admission – defined as institutional admission against the will of the patient – “has a strong effect on psychiatric patients and their relatives, and can be traumatic.” Mark de Jong, MD, Psychiatrist,

This was according to Mark de Jong, MD, Psychiatrist, Yulius Academy, Yulius Mental Health Barendrecht, the Netherlands, who conducted the study. Dr. de Jong’s study analyzed methods for the reduction of compulsory psychiatric admission. He pointed out that “Compulsory admission also conflicts with human rights, principles of autonomy, shared decision making, and recovery focused care.”

He also stated that due to an increase in compulsory admissions in several European countries, interventions that prevent patients from being forcibly admitted are urgently needed.The study found that advanced planning for severe mental health crises resulted in a 23% reduction in risk of compulsory admissions.

Dr. de Jong felt that this figure was “clinically relevant.” He also was of the opinion that the taking into account of patient desires and preferences along with the involvement of family and friends, were both highly important factors in treatment.The focus of the study was the evaluation of study trials involving severe mental illness.

Dr. de Jong commented, however, that he and his team only discovered 13 such trials that actually measured the intent to reduce compulsory admissions. “In light of  human rights and the effect compulsory admissions have on psychiatric patients and their relatives, this number is both small and disappointing.

This demonstrates the urgent need for more research in this field, for the benefit of psychiatric patients with severe mental illnesses and their relatives.”For almost 50 years, Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights has been documenting the inhumane treatment of psychiatric patients, including enforced institutionalization, and enforced treatments involving drugs, electroshock therapy and other dangerous “therapies.”

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