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Ethnicity and coercion among involuntarily detained psychiatric in-patients

  • Olive Bennewith (a1), Tim Amos (a1), Glyn Lewis (a1), Christina Katsakou (a2), Til Wykes (a3), Richard Morriss (a4) and Stefan Priebe (a5)...
Summary

We assessed whether adult Black and minority ethnic (BME) patients detained for involuntary psychiatric treatment experienced more coercion than similar White patients. We found no evidence of this from patient interviews or from hospital records. The area (mental health trust) where people were treated was strongly associated with both the experience of coercion and the recording of a coercive measure in their records. Regarding charges of institutional racism in psychiatry, this study highlights the importance of investigating the role of area characteristics when assessing the relationship between ethnicity and patient management.

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Corresponding author
Olive Bennewith, Academic Unit of Psychiatry, Cotham House, Cotham Hill, Bristol BS6 6JL, UK. Email: O.M.Bennewith@bristol.ac.uk
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The study was funded by a grant from the Policy Research Programme of the UK Department of Health, Commission No. 0230072, and supported by the National Institute for Health Research UK Mental Health Research Network. The project was coordinated by the Unit for Social and Community Psychiatry, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, which received funding from the Department of Health. The views expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Department of Health.

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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1 Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire Health Authority. Independent Inquiry into the Death of David Bennett. Cambridgeshire Health Authority, 2003.
2 Sabshin, M, Diesenhaus, H, Wilkeson, R. Dimensions of institutional racism in psychiatry. Am J Psychiatry 1970; 127: 787–93.
3 Sashidharan, SP. Institutional racism in British psychiatry. Psychiatr Bull 2001; 25: 244–7.
4 Gudjonsson, GH, Rabe-Hesketh, S, Szmukler, G. Management of psychiatric in-patient violence: patient ethnicity and use of medication, restraint and seclusion. Br J Psychiatry 2004; 184: 258–62.
5 Bowers, L, Douzenis, A, Galeazzi, GM, Forghieri, M, Tsopelas, C, Simpson, A, et al. Disruptive and dangerous behaviour on acute psychiatric wards in three European centres. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 2005; 40: 822–8.
6 Flaherty, J, Meager, R. Measuring racial bias in inpatient treatment. Am J Psychiatry 1980; 137: 679–82.
7 Priebe, S, Katsakou, C, Amos, T, Leese, M, Morriss, R, Rose, D, et al. Patients' views and readmissions 1 year after involuntary hospitalisation. Br J Psychiatry 2009; 194: 4954.
8 Iversen, KI, Høyer, G, Sexton, H, Grønli, OK. Perceived coercion among patients admitted to acute wards in Norway. Nord J Psychiatry 2002; 56: 433–9.
9 Cantril, H. The Pattern of Human Concerns. Rutgers University Press, 1965.
10 Bindman, J, Reid, Y, Szmukler, G, Tiller, J, Thornicroft, G, Leese, M. Perceived coercion at admission to psychiatric hospital and engagement with follow-up: a cohort study. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 2005; 40: 160–6.
11 Singh, SP. Ethnicity in psychiatric epidemiology: need for precision. Br J Psychiatry 1997; 171: 305–8.
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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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Ethnicity and coercion among involuntarily detained psychiatric in-patients

  • Olive Bennewith (a1), Tim Amos (a1), Glyn Lewis (a1), Christina Katsakou (a2), Til Wykes (a3), Richard Morriss (a4) and Stefan Priebe (a5)...
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