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Coerced medication used in psychiatric care despite lack of clinical evidence
Date:12/4/2008

Researchers are calling for more studies into the practice of forcing psychiatric patients to take medication, after a research review showed that there have been very few rigorous investigations of the procedure.

The review, published in the latest Journal of Advanced Nursing, suggests that patients receiving coerced medication (CM) are more likely to be in their thirties with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or another psychotic disorder.

CM is used more often in the UK than in other countries where other forms of restraint are more common.

Most of the patients featured in the studies that were reviewed had been admitted to psychiatric care on an involuntary basis.

"It is clear from our review that there is little clinical evidence on the use of CM and more research is needed to examine all aspects of this contentious practice" says Manuela Jarrett, a registered mental health nurse from the Health Service and Population Research Department at the Institute of Psychiatry in London.

Jarrett, who co-authored the paper with Professor Len Bowers and Dr Alan Simpson from City University London, carried out a detailed analysis of 14 papers from seven countries, published between 1987 and 2004. These studies included interviews with 543 patients and 263 staff and analysis of 1,165 forms and records from the UK, USA, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Canada and Denmark.

"Legislation for involuntary psychiatric treatment exists in all European Union member states and in other western countries, where an increased risk to self and others provides the ethical and legal grounds for detaining and treating psychiatric patients without their consent" she says. "The fact that there is legislation in different countries suggests recognition of the seriousness and ethical uncertainty of such procedures.

"Perceived risk to others emerged as an important factor in the decision by staff to give a pati
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Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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