Correlates of Perceived Coercion during Psychiatric Hospital Admission

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involuntary vs voluntary legal status & procedural justice & community vs hospital staff negative pressures & locus of control & symptom severity, perceived admission coercion, psychiatric patients

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The objectives of this study were to replicate the study of C. W. Lidz et al (see record 1996-15479-001); examine the differences in perceptions about hospital admission for voluntary and involuntary patients (16 yr olds and older), all of whom had been involuntarily detained initially for psychiatric evaluation; and examine the impact of community members vs hospital staff, locus of control, and psychiatric symptom severity on patients' perceptions of coercion. Results substantiate earlier findings of Lidz et al in that legal status (involuntary), procedural justice, and negative pressures are significantly related to perceived coercion. Although all patients in this study were detained involuntarily initially, those permitted to sign as voluntary perceived their hospital admission as less coercive and more respectful, fair, and dignified than did those against whom petitions for involuntary treatment had been filed. Locus of control and symptom severity were unrelated to perceived coercion. Finally, the results suggest that procedural justice and negative pressures from community members bore a stronger association with perceived coercion than did experiences with hospital staff involved in the patient's admission.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, v. 20, issue 4, p. 445-458