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Number and procedures of involuntary hospital admissions vary in Europe according to the different socio-cultural contexts. The European Commission has funded the EUNOMIA study in 12 European countries in order to develop European recommendations for good clinical practice in involuntary hospital admissions. The recommendations have been developed with the direct and active involvement of national leaders and key professionals, who worked out national recommendations, subsequently summarized into a European document, through the use of specific categories. The need for standardizing the involuntary hospital admission has been highlighted by all centers. In the final recommendations, it has been stressed the need to: providing information to patients about the reasons for hospitalization and its presumable duration; protecting patients’ rights during hospitalization; encouraging the involvement of family members; improving the communication between community and hospital teams; organizing meetings, seminars and focus-groups with users; developing training courses for involved professionals on the management of aggressive behaviors, clinical aspects of major mental disorders, the legal and administrative aspects of involuntary hospital admissions, on communication skills. The results showed the huge variation of involuntary hospital admissions in Europe and the importance of developing guidelines on this procedure.
We sought to determine the level of procedural justice experienced by individuals at the time of involuntary admission and whether this influenced future engagement with the mental health services.
Over a 15-month period, individuals admitted involuntarily were interviewed prior to discharge and at one-year follow-up.
Eighty-one people participated in the study and 81% were interviewed at one-year follow-up. At the time of involuntary admission, over half of individuals experienced at least one form of physical coercion and it was found that the level of procedural justice experienced was unrelated to the use of physical coercive measures. A total of 20% of participants intended not to voluntarily engage with the mental health services upon discharge and they were more likely to have experienced lower levels of procedural justice at the time of admission. At one year following discharge, 65% of participants were adherent with outpatient appointments and 18% had been readmitted involuntarily. Insight was associated with future engagement with the mental health services; however, the level of procedural justice experienced at admission did not influence engagement.
This study demonstrates that the use of physical coercive measures is a separate entity from procedural justice and perceived pressures.
This study assessed the underexplored factors associated with significant improvement in mothers’ mental health during postpartum inpatient psychiatric care.
This study analyzed clinical improvement in a prospective cohort of 869 women jointly admitted with their infant to 13 psychiatric Mother-Baby Units (MBUs) in France between 2001 and 2007. Predictive variables tested were: maternal mental illness (ICD-10), sociodemographic characteristics, mental illness and childhood abuse history, acute or chronic disorder, pregnancy and birth data, characteristics and mental health of the mother's partner, and MBU characteristics.
Two thirds of the women improved significantly by discharge. Admission for 25% was for a first acute episode very early after childbirth. Independent factors associated with marked improvement at discharge were bipolar or depressive disorder, a first acute episode or relapse of such an episode. Schizophrenia, a personality disorder, and poor social integration (as measured by occupational status) were all related to poor clinical outcomes.
Most women improved significantly while under care in MBUs. Our results emphasize the importance of the type of disease but also its chronicity and the social integration when providing postpartum psychiatric care.
To analyse factors associated with hospitalisation in patients with schizophrenia from four European countries, and to investigate whether national specificities might have an impact on the profile of inpatients.
A randomly selected sample of psychiatrists (N = 744), from Germany, Greece, Italy and Spain, collected data on the five last patients with schizophrenia they had seen in consultation (N = 3996).
High positive symptoms, lack of insight, not living with the family, frequent past episodes, addiction to illegal drugs, global severity, uncooperativeness and smoking were significantly associated with hospitalisation, with OR between 4.1 and 1.26. Nevertheless, only high positive symptoms from the PANSS and lack of insight were systematically detected in the four countries. Among different results, the weight of “not living with the family” had national specificities, as Germany was the only country where this factor played no role (OR = 0.94).
Although some factors such as positive symptoms are associated with hospitalisation in a very homogenous way throughout different countries, discrepancies were detected between countries, for “living with the family”, “number of past acute relapses” and “uncooperativeness”. Linking these specificities to national healthcare systems might be useful to promote access to care for all patients.
In the context of the development of DSM-V and ICD-11 it appears to be useful to get further data on the validity of the diagnostic differentiation between schizophrenic and affective disorders. This study investigated the relevance of the main diagnostic groups schizophrenia, schizoaffective psychosis and affective disorder in the context of different diagnostic systems (ICD-9, ICD-10, DSM –IV), assessing their time stability, long-term courses, types and functional outcome.
A total of 323 first hospitalized inpatients of the Psychiatric Department of the University Munich were recruited at index time. The full follow-up evaluation including standardized assessment procedures could be performed in 197 patients.
The re-diagnosis of the patients’ disorders shows that with the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 or DSM-IV, the group of affective disorders increased numerically while the diagnostic groups of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders decreased in size. The structured clinical interview for DSM-IV (SCID) analysis showed that altogether ICD-10 and DSM-IV had a relatively high diagnostic stability. Of the patients with an ICD-10 diagnosis of schizophrenia, 57% had a chronic course; 61% of the patients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia. Patients with affective disorders, according either to ICD-10 or DSM-IV, had in more than 90% of the cases an episodic-remitting course. In terms of prediction of long-term outcome regarding the differentiation between chronic and non-chronic course, the ICD-10 diagnoses did give a slightly better predictive result than a dimensional approach based on the key psychopathological syndrome scores.
The differentiation between schizophrenic and affective disorders seems meaningful especially under predictive aspects. A dimensional syndromatological description does not exceed the predictive power of the investigated main diagnostic categories, but might increase the clinically relevant information.
The use of coercive measures in psychiatry is still poorly understood. Most empirical research has been limited to compulsory admission and to risk factors on an individual patient level. This study addresses three coercive measures and the role of predictive factors at both patient and institutional levels.
Using the central psychiatric register that covers all psychiatric hospitals in Canton Zurich (1.3 million people), Switzerland, we traced all inpatients in 2007 aged 18–70 (n = 9698). We used GEE models to analyse variation in rates between psychiatric hospitals.
Overall, we found quotas of 24.8% involuntary admissions, 6.4% seclusion/restraint and 4.2% coerced medication. Results suggest that the kind and severity of mental illness are the most important risk factors for being subjected to any form of coercion. Variation across the six psychiatric hospitals was high, even after accounting for risk factors on the patient level suggesting that centre effects are an important source of variability. However, effects of the hospital characteristics ‘size of the hospital’, ‘length of inpatient stay’, and ‘work load of the nursing staff’ were only weak (‘bed occupancy rate’ was not statistically significant).
The significant variation in use of coercive measures across psychiatric hospitals needs further study.
To analyze factors associated with a patient's probability of being a Heavy User (HU) of inpatient psychiatric services and to compare the HU inpatient population with Non-Heavy Users (NHUs).
Patients and methods
The survey was conducted among inpatients enrolled in the PROGRES-Acute-project, an Italian nationwide survey of public and private inpatient facilities. Patients with three or more admissions over the last 12 months were considered HUs, and patients who had undergone one or two admissions during the same period made up the NHU group.
Four hundred and thirty-five (40.5%) were HUs, and 640 (59.5%) NHUs. HUs were younger, more frequently unmarried, unemployed, receiving a disability-pension, and either homeless or living in a residential facility. HUs were more likely to have experienced conflicts with their partners or family members during the week prior to admission. A logistic regression analysis revealed that age, age at first admission, number of life-time admissions, and having been the victim of violence were the most important predictive factors for the HU phenomenon.
Our study suggests that specific attention should be given to patients’ family context, due to its crucial role in daily informal care and in the triggering of events leading to rehospitalization.
Psychiatric intensive care is supposed to offer treatment and to hold patients with psychiatric illness, if they pose a threat to themselves or to others. Besides treating the underlying psychiatric diagnoses, it is also necessary to take care of severe somatic comorbidity, which is often impeded by patients’ limited ability to cooperate. Treatment often requires the administration of sedative medication and occasionally the use of medical restraints. Involuntary commitment, involuntary treatment and the usage of physical restraints is regulated by national mental health laws. Medical professionals working in the field of psychiatric intensive care must have expert knowledge in the fields of psychopharmacology and intensive care medicine. Treatment concepts should be aimed to provide optimized care for psychiatric inpatients in a potentially life-threatening phase of their illness. This article outlines current clinical practice at the psychiatric intensive care unit of the Medical University of Vienna (Austria). Furthermore, we present diagnoses, diagnostic procedures and specific treatments of a sample of 100 consecutive inpatients treated in the years 2008 and 2009 at this ward.
We examined the trends in prescribing psychotropic drugs to children and adolescents within an inpatients adolescent psychiatric ward in Israel. Data of 414 subjects, ranging from 12- to 22-year-old, covering the years 1997, 2002 and 2007, was examined retrospectively. Analyzed variables included the number and type of drug prescriptions per patient at discharge, the subjects’ age at discharge and the number of diagnoses per patient at discharge. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) with repeated measures was used to evaluate changes between the three calendar years, along the 10-year study period, while Pearson χ2 test was performed for categorical variables. Over the study period the mean age at discharge decreased significantly, by about a year and a half, the mean number of diagnoses increased significantly, from 1.6 to 2.4 diagnoses per patient and the total number of drugs prescribed at discharge increased significantly from 1.48 to 1.93 per patient. Overall, the number of patients who were prescribed mood stabilizers increased by 14%, those who were prescribed antidepressants increased by almost 24%, almost 16% in antipsychotics prescriptions and 51.5% in prescriptions of atypical antipsychotics. Typical antipsychotic prescriptions decreased by 35.5% and accordingly, the number of patients who were prescribed agents for the treatment of extra-pyramidal side effects decreased by almost 24%. Due to a low number of inpatients with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), no significant statistical conclusion could be drawn regarding trends in psychostimulant prescriptions. Our findings agree with other published studies from the last two decades. The growing use of psychotropic agents in children and adolescents merit a continuous concern with regard to their effects on the developing brain and impact on quality of life and to authorizing these drugs for use in specific young age subgroups.