Violence and Leveraged Community Treatment for Persons With Mental Disorders

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, DUMC Box 3071, Durham, NC 27710, USA.
American Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 12.3). 09/2006; 163(8):1404-11. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.163.8.1404
Source: PubMed


This article explores the link between violence and the practice of legally mandating treatment in the community or leveraging benefits from the social welfare system, such as subsidized housing and disability income support, to ensure adherence to treatment.
Data are presented from a survey of 1,011 persons with psychiatric disorders receiving treatment in public mental health service systems in five U.S. cities. Multinomial logit analysis was used to examine the association between physically assaultive behavior and experience of social welfare leverage, legal leverage, or both types of leverage, with the analyses controlling for demographic and clinical characteristics.
Across study sites, 18% to 21% of participants reported having committed violent acts in the past 6 months; 3% to 9% reported having used or made threats with a lethal weapon, committed sexual assault, or caused injury. About three-quarters of subjects who reported such serious violence also reported having experienced some form of leveraged treatment, compared with about one-half of subjects who did not report serious violence. Demographic and clinical factors that were independently associated with the likelihood of experiencing both types of leverage included younger age, male gender, poorer clinical functioning, more years in treatment, more frequent hospitalizations, higher frequency of outpatient visits, and negative attitudes toward medication adherence. Among participants who did not voluntarily take psychotropic medication, even minor assaultiveness was associated with having experienced legal leverage.
A combination of concerns about safety and treatment nonadherence may influence decisions by clinicians and judges to apply legal leverage.

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Available from: Richard Van Dorn, Oct 19, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: In recent decades debate has intensified over both the ethics and effectiveness of mandated mental health treatment for persons residing in the community. Perceived barriers to care among persons subjected to mandated community treatment, and the possibility that fear of involuntary treatment may actually create or strengthen such barriers rather than dissolve them, are key issues relevant to this debate but have been little studied. This article explores the link between receipt of mandated (or "leveraged") community treatment and reasons for avoiding or delaying treatment reported by persons with severe mental illness. It also examines the potential moderating effect of social support on the association between mandated treatment experiences and barriers attributable to fear of involuntary commitment or forced treatment. Data are presented from a survey of 1011 persons with psychiatric disorders being treated in public-sector mental health service systems in five U.S. cities. Logistic and negative binomial regression analyses were used to examine the association between mandated community treatment and perceptions of barriers to care, controlling for demographic and clinical characteristics. Across sites, 32.4% to 46.3% of respondents reported barriers attributed to fear of forced treatment. Whereas 63.7% to 76.1% reported at least one non-mandate-related barrier to care; the mean number of non-mandated barriers to care ranged from 1.6 to 2.3 (range 0-7). Between 44.1% and 59.0% of participants had experienced at least one type of leveraged treatment. Persons experiencing multiple forms of mandated treatment were more likely to report barriers to care in comparison to those not reporting mandated treatment. Findings also indicated that social support moderates the relationship between multiple leverages (three or four forms) and mandate-related barriers to care. Perceived barriers to care associated with mandated treatment experience have the potential to adversely affect both treatment adherence and therapeutic alliance. Awareness of potential barriers to care and how they interact with patients' perceived social support may lead to improved outcomes associated with mandated treatment.
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