ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia is the most severe mental disorder, characterized in many cases by poor insight and low adherence to drug treatment. In Israel, as in many countries, Laws have been Legislated to allow the issuance of compuLsory ambulatory treatment orders (CATO) to patients whose medical condition poses a risk to themselves or the environment. In the Limited existing literature, no conclusive evidence has been found on the efficacy of CATO on patients' outcome.
We examined the medical files of all the patients in "Shalvata" Mental Health Center, who were treated under the compulsory ambulatory treatment order during the years 2003-2010. We examined the effect of the CATO on the time Lapse out of hospitalization during a 3 year period before and after issuing the order. The study group was composed of 77 patients and each patient served as his own control.
We conducted paired samples t-test and found that the average time lapse out of hospitalization after issuing CATO was higher (M = 426 days, SD = 3921 compared to the average time lapse out of hospitalization before issuing CATO (M = 345 days, SD = 366, N = 77), but the difference was not statistically significant (t = -1.34, p = 0.2).
Our research shows that there was no significant beneficial effect of the CATO in the group of patients that we examined. We found that the average time lapse out of hospitalization did not increase significantly. Our study raises questions regarding the importance of the compulsory ambulatory treatment and its implementation measures.
Harefuah 03/2012; 151(3):155-8, 190, 189.