Journal Article

Compulsory Community and Involuntary Outpatient Treatment for People With Severe Mental Disorders

Steve R. Kisely and Leslie A. Campbell

in Schizophrenia Bulletin

Published on behalf of University of Maryland School of Medicine

Volume 41, issue 3, pages 542-543
Published in print May 2015 | ISSN: 0586-7614
Published online March 2015 | e-ISSN: 1745-1701 | DOI:
Compulsory Community and Involuntary Outpatient Treatment for People With Severe Mental Disorders

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There is controversy as to whether compulsory community treatment (CCT) for people with severe mental illness (SMI) reduces health service use or improves clinical outcome and social functioning. To examine the effectiveness of CCT for people with SMI. We searched the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group’s Trials Register and Science Citation Index (2003, 2008, 2012, and 2013). We obtained all references of identified studies and contacted authors where necessary. All relevant randomized controlled clinical trials (RCTs) of CCT compared with standard care for people with SMI (mainly schizophrenia and schizophrenia-like disorders, bipolar disorder, or depression with psychotic features). Standard care could be voluntary treatment in the community or another preexisting form of compulsory community treatment such as supervised discharge. We found 3 trials with a total of 752 people. Two trials compared a form of CCT called ‘Outpatient Commitment’ (OPC) versus standard voluntary care, whereas the third compared Community Treatment Orders with intermittent supervised discharge. CCT was no more likely to result in better service use, social functioning, mental state, or quality of life compared with either standard voluntary or supervised care. However, people receiving CCT were less likely to be victims of crime than those on voluntary care. Further research is indicated into the effects of different types of CCT as these results are based on 3 relatively small trials.

Keywords: community treatment orders; outpatient commitment; mental health law; hospitalization/CTO

Journal Article.  722 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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