October 11, 2006

Assisted Treatment - Does it Work?

Read more... Assisted Treatment

A psychiatrist on the blog "Shrink Wrap", in response to the question "Does compelled treatment work?", noted recently:

"Yup.[Yes] That's kind of the point of having mental health courts and outpatient commitment (or what opponents characterize as 'leash laws').

Eventually. Maybe not the first time, but eventually. Eventually when they figure out that dropping out of treatment leads to relapse and relapse leads to incarceration. Or in the case of insanity acquittees, return to the psychiatric hospital. People who work in substance abuse programs now welcome dual intervention with court supervision because they know the court-ordered patients are more likely to show up and to return."

The author also notes:

"Some of the best research on mandated treatment is being done by the MacArthur Foundation. The interesting thing about this work is that it showed that leveraged treatment is not necessarily perceived as coercive by the patient if the patient is given a chance to participate in the process -- ie. to participate in a mental health status conference with a judge or to discuss how money will be spent with a payee. While outcomes studies are still being done, there is evidence that use of leverage reduces likelihood of rehospitalization and reduces length of stay."

Read the entire Shrink Wrapped Blog entry: On A Short Leash

More Information on Assisted Treatment

(Special thanks to Tim for pointing us to this blog entry)

Posted by szadmin at October 11, 2006 06:52 PM

More Information on Assisted Treatment


While I do support assisted
treatment with proper legal
safeguards, I did not know that
the mentally ill were dogs,
rather than human beings, to be
kept on a leash. This seems to
be a characteristic of some
elements of the medical
profession to view the mentally
ill as subhuman people.

Posted by: William O. Romine Jr. at October 17, 2006 12:31 PM

i have never seen such an attitude in any doctors i have had contact with. however, i have seen that attitude in people writing newspaper headlines - the attitude is get people to read what you write - if one does so by enraging them, then so much the better.

the doctors i have had contact with seem very caring about their patients and they seem to view assisted treatment as a very, very last resort, only for the person who is endangered or endangering. they may not seem nice to a psychotic person who is paranoid about treatment, or is delusional, but i haven't found a doctor yet who feels assisted or involuntary treatment is a joke or a leash. a friend of mine had to be hospitalized because he was wandering into street and got hit by a car (not hurt but it was very scary). and when he had gone to the hosp his doc said, 'thank god he's safe for a little while' (it would be a 72 hr hospitalization).

Posted by: slc2 at October 20, 2006 11:41 AM

Mental health professionals as a group (of course, including MDs and nurses) universally endorse the thinking that less is more regarding forced treatment (similar thinking guides medication choices and dosing). Unfortunately, choosing the path of least resistance, i.e., ignoring dangerous clinical realities, violates a basic tenet of medicine: First do no harm to the patient!

Jeff Drury, RN, MSN

Posted by: Jeffrey J. dRURY at October 20, 2006 03:57 PM

Thanks for the link.
This issue of sensationalist headlines is most exemplified in the link at the end of this post on stigma.

Posted by: Roy at November 2, 2006 08:35 PM

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