While involuntary psychiatric admission and treatment are common, little is known about what impact different diagnoses have on specific features of involuntary admission and on how involuntary status is terminated (eg, by psychiatrists or tribunals, which are independent, court-like bodies reviewing involuntary admissions).
We studied 2940 admissions, 423 (14.4%) of which were involuntary, at 3 psychiatry units covering a population of 552,019 individuals in Dublin, Ireland.
Involuntary patients were more likely than voluntary patients to be male and unmarried. The median length of stay for involuntary patients was 27 days compared with 10 days for voluntary patients (P<0.001). Schizophrenia (and related disorders, including schizoaffective disorder) and bipolar disorder accounted for 58.6% and 17.3% of involuntary admissions, respectively, compared with 20.1% and 12.4% of voluntary admissions (P<0.001). Psychiatrists revoked the majority of involuntary orders for both patients with bipolar disorder (85.3%) and those with schizophrenia (and related disorders) (86.6%); in contrast, tribunals did not revoke any involuntary admission orders for patients with bipolar disorder and revoked orders for 3.8% of patients with schizophrenia (and related disorders) (P=0.034). On the basis of multivariable testing, increased age among patients with bipolar disorder was the only characteristic among those studied (sex, age, marital status, occupation, involuntary admission criteria, length of stay, method of involuntary order revocation, location) that independently distinguished involuntary patients with bipolar disorder from those with schizophrenia (and related disorders) (P=0.028).
Involuntary admission of patients with bipolar disorder is similar in most respects to that of patients with schizophrenia (and related disorders). Consequently, it is important that measures aimed at reducing the need for involuntary admission (eg, patient advance statements/advance directives) are implemented equally across all diagnostic groups associated with involuntary care.
KELLY, UMAMA-AGADA, CURLEY, DUFFY, and ASGHAR: Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College Dublin, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, Tallaght Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
GILHOOLEY: St. Patrick’s University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Please send correspondence to: Brendan D. Kelly, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College Dublin, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, Tallaght Hospital, Dublin D24 NR0A, Ireland (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).