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Epidemiology of involuntary placement of mentally ill people across the European Union

  • Hans Joachim Salize (a1) and Harald Dressing (a2)
Abstract
Background

Despite the tendency for harmonisation of strategies for mental health care delivery, rules and regulations for involuntary placement or treatment of mentally ill persons still differ remarkably internationally. Rapid European integration and other political developments require valid and reliable international overviews, sound studies and profound analyses of this controversial issue.

Aims

To give an overview of compulsory admission data from official sources across the European Union (EU).

Method

Data on the legal frameworks for involuntary placement or treatment of people with mental illness and their outcomes were provided and assessed by experts from all EU member states.

Results

Total frequencies of admission and compulsory admission rates vary remarkably across the EU. Variation hints at the influence of differences in legal frameworks or procedures. Time series suggest an overall tendency towards more or less stable quotas in most member states.

Conclusions

Further research is greatly needed in this field. Common international health reporting standards are essential to the compilation of basic data.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr Hans Joachim Salize, Mental Health Services Research Unit, Central Institute of Mental Health, J5, D-68159 Mannheim, Germany
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None. Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

Footnotes
References
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Epidemiology of involuntary placement of mentally ill people across the European Union

  • Hans Joachim Salize (a1) and Harald Dressing (a2)
Submit a response

eLetters

Involuntary placement across Europe: data from Italy

Angelo Barbato, psychiatrist
26 May 2004

Milan, May 12th, 2004

Sir,

Salize and Dressing (2004) show figures for various indicators of involuntary placements in psychiatric facilities in the European Union countries. According to the authors, Italy was unable to provide nationwide data from the 1990s. Therefore, they showed in Table 1 data from the Lombardy region, concerning only the percentage of involuntary placements on all inpatient episodes for an “unknown year”. Data from Lombardy on number and rate of involuntary placements for 100000 population are indicated as “not available”. Actually, nationwide data have been published up to 1997, and data from the database of the Lombardy region are available for the period 1995-2001. The Italian data can be found on the website of the National Institute of Statistics (www.istat.it/Societ-/Sanita-e-p/Storico) and those of Lombardy on the website of the Regional Directorate of Health (www.sanita.regione.lombardia.it/documenti).Besides, in Table 1 the rate of 11 involuntary placements per 100000 is indicated for France. This is not correct, as can be easily understood looking at absolute numbers of 61163 involuntary admissions in France. Given the French population of about 59.3 million inhabitants, the correctrate is 103 per 100000 population.Below is a table showing the data from Italy and Lombardy. Yours sincerely.

Angelo BarbatoBarbara D’AvanzoUnit of Epidemiology and Social Psychiatry, Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, Via Eritrea 62, 20157 Milan, Italy

ReferencesSalize, H.J. & Dressing, H. (2004) Epidemiology of involuntary placement of mentally ill people across the European Union. British Journal of Psychiatry, 184, 163-168.

Declaration of interest: none.
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Conflict of interest: None Declared

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