A Follow-up of Chronic Patients Committed to Outpatient Treatment

North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27695.
Hospital & community psychiatry 02/1989; 40(1):52-9. DOI: 10.1176/ps.40.1.52
Source: PubMed


Data collected in a statewide study of psychiatric patients involved in civil commitment hearings in North Carolina were used to evaluate the effectiveness of outpatient commitment as a less restrictive alternative to involuntary hospitalization. Six months after the commitment hearings, outcome data for patients who were committed to outpatient treatment were compared with outcome data for patients who were released and patients who were involuntarily hospitalized. All three groups comprised patients who were chronically mentally ill, had previously been hospitalized, and had histories of medication refusal and dangerousness. Patients who were committed to outpatient treatment were significantly more likely than patients with the other two dispositions to utilize aftercare services and to continue in treatment.

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    Full-text · Article · Jan 2007
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    ABSTRACT: Studied a sample of 727 civil commitment candidates both in and out of the hospital for 6 mo following their postcourt hearings to determine their postcourt dangerousness. Dangerousness was measured by dividing it into 5 legal components of behavior: type, object, frequency, weapon/means, and severity of outcome. Using data from ward charts, readmission evaluations, recommitment affidavits, and arrest and community mental health center records, Ss' dangerousness is described in terms of those 5 components. Dangerousness was also compared with the alleged dangerous behavior that brought Ss into the civil commitment process. Candidates apparently do not tend to be dangerous in the 6 mo following their court hearings. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
    No preview · Article · Dec 1990 · Law and Human Behavior
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    ABSTRACT: Outpatient commitment (OPC) permits compulsory outpatient treatment of the mentally ill. This study examines the wider institutional or normative purposes of OPC: greater social control of the mentally ill in the community and a less restrictive environment than inpatient commitment. OPC's ability to meet these contradictory institutional demands—social control and greater individual liberty—is explicated by the institutional theory of organizational activity and based on two data sources. First, case studies of four community mental health centers reveal the organizational beliefs that define OPC as social control and/or a least restrictive patient environment. Second, data collected in North Carolina from patients ordered to OPC and their primary therapists demonstrate that in practice OPC does provide both a least restrictive alternative as well as greater community social control.
    No preview · Article · Feb 1991 · Sociological Quarterly
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