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Hanne Poulsen

Validation of psychiatric patients' statements on coercive measures

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OBJECTIVE: To investigate the accuracy of psychiatric patients' statements on coercive measures compared with medical file information using empirical methodology, and relating the statements to patients' psychopathology. METHOD: One hundred and forty-three in-patients were identified consecutively, and interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Psychopathology was measured using BPRS, and social functioning using GAF. Patients' statements about coercion were compared with information in the medical files. RESULTS: In general, patients stated to have been subjected to more coercion than was evident from the files. In particular, statements about forced medication, earlier involuntary commitments and present legal status showed low accordance with information in the files. Low accordance was related to the severity of psychopathology and being schizophrenic. CONCLUSION: The existence of a 'grey zone' between patients' and doctors' perception of coercion was confirmed. Knowledge of patients' psychopathology seems essential when considering medical, legal and ethical aspects of the use of coercion.
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Pages (from-to)60-65
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2001

    Research areas

  • Adult, Attitude of Health Personnel, Case-Control Studies, Coercion, Commitment of Mentally Ill, Denmark, Female, Hospitals, University, Humans, Interview, Psychological, Male, Medical Records, Middle Aged, Patient Advocacy, Psychotic Disorders, Retrospective Studies, Schizophrenia, Treatment Refusal

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ID: 15383066