Community compulsion via community compulsory treatment orders is used routinely in Scotland. We aimed to describe the common characteristics of individuals subject to community compulsion. We collected standardised information from a national database about individuals subject to community compulsion and compared them with people subject to hospital detention.
Analysis of 499 cases revealed that the majority of individuals subject to community compulsion had a psychotic illness, had a history of non-adherence to services and treatment, and were more likely than not to be in receipt of a long-acting injection of antipsychotic medication. Patients subject to community compulsion were clinically similar to patients subject to hospital-based treatment orders and usually were considered to pose a risk to other people.
Community compulsion has been widely adopted despite a relative lack of supporting scientific evidence. Our findings are similar to those of other related studies and highlight that individuals with a psychotic illness who are ambivalent about treatment and who pose a risk to self or others are likely to be considered for community compulsion.
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