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Community treatment orders and reduced time in hospital: a nationwide study, 2007–2012

  • Mark Taylor (a1) (a2) (a3), Melanie Macpherson (a2), Callum Macleod (a4) and Donald Lyons (a4)
Abstract
Aims and method

Community treatment orders (CTOs) were introduced in Scotland in 2005, but are controversial owing to a lack of supportive randomised evidence. The non-randomised studies provide mixed results on their efficacy and utility. We aimed to examine hospital bed day usage across Scotland both before and after CTOs were initiated in a national cohort of patients, spanning 5 years.

Results

In total, 1558 individuals who were subject to a CTO between 2007 and 2012, of whom 63% were male, were included. After CTO initiation the number of hospital bed days fell, on average, from 66 to 39 per annum per patient. Those with a longer psychiatric history appeared to benefit more from a CTO, in terms of reduced time in hospital.

Clinical implications

Our data offer cautious support for the use of CTOs in routine practice, in terms of reducing time spent in psychiatric hospital. This finding is balanced by the more rigorous randomised studies which do not find any benefit to CTOs.

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Copyright
This is an open-access article published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Correspondence to Mark Taylor (marktaylor2@nhs.net)
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

C.M. and D.L. are current or past employees of the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland.

Footnotes
References
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1 Churchill, R, Owen, D, Singh, S, Hotopf, M. International Experiences of Using Community Treatment Orders. Department of Health, 2007.
2 Burns, T, Rugkåsa, J, Molodynski, A, Dawson, J, Yeeles, K, Vazquez-Montes, M, et al. Community treatment orders for patients with psychosis (OCTET): a randomised controlled trial. Lancet 2013; 381: 1627–33.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 2056-4694
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Community treatment orders and reduced time in hospital: a nationwide study, 2007–2012

  • Mark Taylor (a1) (a2) (a3), Melanie Macpherson (a2), Callum Macleod (a4) and Donald Lyons (a4)
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