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Capacity to consent to treatment in patients with acute mania

  • Jonathan Beckett (a1) and Robert Chaplin (a2)
Abstract
Aims and Method

This study aimed to determine the proportion of patients hospitalised with mania who had capacity to consent to treatment, to determine the predictors of capacity and to explore the relationship between detained status and capacity. Fifty in-patients with mania participated in a clinical interview to assess capacity.

Results

Nineteen patients (38%) had overall capacity. Capacity was predicted by higher IQ, lower severity of manic symptoms and more episodes of depression; it was not related to voluntary or detained status. The domains of capacity were not hierarchical.

Clinical Implications

Many patients hospitalised with mania have capacity to make an informed choice regarding treatment even when compulsorily detained. Their capacity should be reviewed frequently and measures adopted to enhance capacity.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Capacity to consent to treatment in patients with acute mania

  • Jonathan Beckett (a1) and Robert Chaplin (a2)
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eLetters

Informed Consent and Capacity

Siraj Salahudeen, Staff Grade Psychiatrist
21 November 2006

Beckett et al’s study (November 2006) was commendable, considering the fact that the capacity to consent to treatment in people with mania was not studied before. However, the authors say those patients who could notgive informed consent were approached at a later date after clinical improvement. I presume from this statement, the authors obtained informed consent from everyone who entered the study. Although capacity is issue/time specific, I wonder whether the 62% (31 out of 50), of those whowere found not to have capacity to consent to treatment, had in fact capacity to make the decision to participate in the study in the first place.

Declaration of interest- None

Ref: Jonathan Beckett and Robert Chaplin (2006) Capacity to consent to treatment in patients with acute mania. Psychiatric Bulletin 30: 419-422
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Conflict of interest: None Declared

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