How Mental Health Clinicians View Community Treatment Orders: A National New Zealand Survey
Romans, Sarah; Dawson, John; Mullen, Richard; Gibbs, Anita
Objective: To determine New Zealand mental health clinicians' views about community treatment orders, indications for their use, their benefits, problems and impact on patients and therapeutic relationships. Method: A national survey of New Zealand psychiatrists and a regional survey of nonpsychiatric community mental health professionals for comparison. Results: The great majority of NZ psychiatrists prefer to work with community treatment orders as an option. They consider they are used properly in most cases, can enhance patients' priority for care, provide a structure for treatment, support continuing contact and produce a period of stability for patients during which other therapeutic changes can occur. They consider these orders can harm therapeutic relationships, especially in the short term, but when used appropriately their overall benefits outweigh their coercive impact. The other mental health professionals surveyed have similar views. A minority of clinicians do not support their use. Conclusions: The precise impact of community treatment orders on patients' quality of life remains an open question. Until that matter is more clearly resolved, New Zealand law should continue to authorise compulsory outpatient care, provided it is carefully targeted and adequate community services are available.
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Rights Statement: Copyright © 2004, © SAGE Publications
Keywords: coercion; legal status; outpatient commitment; patient compliance; community treatment orders
Research Type: Journal Article
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