Why do some voluntary patients feel coerced into hospitalisation? A mixed-methods study.

Barts and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK.
Psychiatry Research (Impact Factor: 2.68). 05/2011; 187(1-2):275-82. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2011.01.001
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study aimed to investigate factors linked to perceived coercion at admission and during treatment among voluntary inpatients. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used. Two hundred seventy patients were screened for perceived coercion at admission. Those who felt coerced into admission rated their perceived coercion during treatment a month after admission. Patient characteristics and experiences were tested as predictors of coercion. In-depth interviews on experiences leading to perceived coercion were conducted with 36 participants and analysed thematically. Thirty-four percent of patients felt coerced into admission and half of those still felt coerced a month later. No patient characteristics were associated with perceived coercion. Those whose satisfaction with treatment increased more markedly between baseline and a month later were less likely to feel coerced a month after admission. In the qualitative interviews three themes leading to perceived coercion were identified: viewing the hospital as ineffective and other treatments as more appropriate, not participating in the admission and treatment and not feeling respected. Involving patients in the decision-making and treating them with respect may reduce perceived coercion.

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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Service users may express positive, ambivalent, or negative views of their hospital admission. The objective of this study was to determine whether the background of the interviewer-service user-researcher or clinician-influences the information elicited. The primary outcome was the level of perceived coercion on admission, and secondary outcomes were perceived pressures on admission, procedural justice, perceived necessity for admission, satisfaction with services, and willingness to consent to participate in the study. METHODS: Participants voluntarily and involuntarily admitted to three hospitals in Ireland were randomly allocated to be interviewed at hospital discharge by either a service user-researcher or a clinician. Interviewers used the MacArthur Admission Experience Survey and the Client Satisfaction Questionnaire. RESULTS: A total of 161 participants were interviewed. No differences by interviewer status or by admission status (involuntary or voluntary) were found in levels of perceived coercion, perceived pressures, procedural justice, perceived necessity, or satisfaction with services. Service users were more likely to decline to participate if their consent was sought by a service user-researcher (24% versus 8%, p=.003). CONCLUSIONS: Most interviewees gave positive accounts of their admission regardless of interviewer status. The findings indicate that clinicians and researchers can be more confident that service users' positive accounts of admissions are not attributable to a response bias. Researchers can also feel more confident in directly comparing the results of studies undertaken by clinicians and by service user-researchers.
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    ABSTRACT: The legal status of service users admitted to psychiatric wards is not synonymous with the level of coercion that they can perceive during the admission. This study aimed to identify and describe the proportion of individuals who were admitted voluntarily but experienced levels of perceived coercion comparable to those admitted involuntarily. Individuals admitted voluntarily and involuntarily to three psychiatric hospitals were interviewed using the MacArthur Admission Experience Interview and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV diagnoses. One hundered sixtyone individuals were interviewed and 22% of the voluntarily admitted service users had levels of perceived coercion similar to that of the majority of involuntarily admitted service users. Voluntarily admitted service users who experienced high levels of perceived coercion were more likely to have more severe psychotic symptoms, have experienced more negative pressures and less procedural justices on admission. Individuals brought to hospital under mental health legislation but who subsequently agreed to be admitted voluntarily and those treated on a secure ward also reported higher levels of perceived coercion. It needs to be ensured that if any service user, whether voluntary or involuntary, experiences treatment pressures or coercion that there is sufficient oversight of the practice, to ensure that individual's rights are respected.
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