How patients in New Zealand view community treatment orders
Gibbs, Anita; Dawson, John; Ansley, Chris; Mullen, Richard
Background: New Zealand operates a well-embedded community treatment order scheme for patients with serious mental disorders. A similar scheme may be enacted for England and Wales. Aim: To explore the views of patients with recent experience of community treatment orders. Method: All patients in one region under an order in the last 2 years, not readmitted to hospital for at least 6 months, were included, subject to their capacity and consent. Forty-two patients out of 84 potential participants were interviewed. Results: The majority of patients were generally supportive of the community treatment order, especially if the alternative was hospital. Many valued the access to services and sense of security obtained, and attributed improvements in their health to treatment under the order. They also experienced reduced choice about medication and restrictions on residence and travel. For a minority this meant they were strongly opposed to the order, but for most the restrictions did not unduly hinder them. The majority of patients viewed the order as a helpful step towards community stability. Conclusions: The usefulness of community treatment orders is accepted by most patients under them in NZ, as well as by most psychiatrists. Critical factors include the quality of therapeutic relationships and the structure provided for community mental health care.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Rights Statement: © Shadowfax Publishing and Taylor & Francis Group Ltd
Keywords: community treatment orders; mental health; patients; outpatient commitment
Research Type: Journal Article
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