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International variations in mental health law regulating involuntary commitment of psychiatric patients as measured by the Mental Health Legislation Attitudes Scale (MHLAS)
Independent Researcher, Bulgaria.
St Olav’s University Hospital, Forensic Department Brøset Centre for Research and Education in Forensic Psychiatry, Norway; Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Norway; University of Liverpool, UK.
St Olav’s University Hospital, Forensic Department Brøset Centre for Research and Education in Forensic Psychiatry, Norway.
Ulm University, Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy I, Germany; Centres for Psychiatry Sued Wuerttemberg, Ulm University, Germany.
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2019 (English)In: Medicine, Science and the Law, ISSN 0025-8024, E-ISSN 2042-1818, Vol. 59, no 2, p. 104-114Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Previous research illustrated that the laws regulating involuntaryplacement and treatment of persons with mental health problems arevery diverse across countries. International studies comparingsatisfaction levels between countries are rare. We compared the opinionsof professionals and family members about the operation of the nationalmental health law regulating forcibly admission and treatment ofpsychiatric patients in eleven countries: Ireland, Iceland, England &Wales, Romania, Slovenia, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Norway andIndia. An online survey design was adopted using a Mental HealthLegislation Attitude Scale (MHLAS). This brief 9-item questionnaire wasdistributed via e-mail to psychiatrists, general practitioners, acute andcommunity mental health nurses, tribunal members, police officers and family members in each collaborating country. The levels ofagreement/disagreement were measured on a Likert- scale. Data wereanalysed both per question and with regard to a total MHLAS ‘approval’score computed as a sum of the 9 questions. We found that respondentsin England & Wales and Denmark expressing strongest approval for theirnational legislation (76 and 74% respectively), with those in India andIreland expressing the least approval (65 and 64% respectively). Almostall countries had a more positive attitude in comparison with Ireland onthe admission criteria for involuntary placement and the way people aretransferred to psychiatric hospitals. There are significant variationsacross Europe and beyond in terms of approval for how the nationalmental health law framework operates in each country.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 59, no 2, p. 104-114
Keywords [en]
involuntary commitment mental health law forcibly treatment legislation
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Other Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-29329DOI: 10.1177/0025802419841139ISI: 000464512200005PubMedID: 30982427Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85064345431OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-29329DiVA, id: diva2:1291679
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2013-1670Available from: 2019-02-26 Created: 2019-02-26 Last updated: 2019-08-16Bibliographically approved

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