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Exploring professionals' understanding, interpretation and implementation of the ‘appropriate medical treatment test’ in the 2007 amendment of the Mental Health Act 1983

  • Benjamin I. Perry (a1), Nina Champaneri (a2), Frances Griffiths (a3), Moli Paul (a4), Zoebia Islam (a5), Jorun Rugkåsa (a6), Tom Burns (a7), Peter Tyrer (a8), Michael Crawford (a9), Shoumitro Deb (a10) and Swaran P. Singh (a4)...
Abstract
Background

The appropriate medical treatment test (ATT), included in the Mental Health Act (MHA) (1983, as amended 2007), aims to ensure that detention only occurs when treatment with the purpose of alleviating a mental disorder is available.

Aims

As part of the Assessing the Impact of the Mental Health Act (AMEND) project, this qualitative study aimed to assess professionals' understanding of the ATT, and its impact on clinical practice.

Method

Forty-one professionals from a variety of mental health subspecialties were interviewed. Interviews were coded related to project aims, and themes were generated in an inductive process.

Results

We found that clinicians are often wholly relied upon for the ATT. Considered treatment varied depending on the patient's age rather than diagnosis. The ATT has had little impact on clinical practice.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest the need to review training and support for professionals involved in MHA assessments, with better-defined roles. This may enable professionals to implement the ATT as its designers intended.

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Copyright
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Non-Commercial, No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND) license.
Corresponding author
Correspondence: Benjamin I. Perry, Department of Mental Health and Wellbeing, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK. Email: b.perry.1@warwick.ac.uk
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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Exploring professionals' understanding, interpretation and implementation of the ‘appropriate medical treatment test’ in the 2007 amendment of the Mental Health Act 1983

  • Benjamin I. Perry (a1), Nina Champaneri (a2), Frances Griffiths (a3), Moli Paul (a4), Zoebia Islam (a5), Jorun Rugkåsa (a6), Tom Burns (a7), Peter Tyrer (a8), Michael Crawford (a9), Shoumitro Deb (a10) and Swaran P. Singh (a4)...
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