To capture psychiatrists' reasons for ‘significant impaired decision-making ability’ (SIDMA) as there is no definition of SIDMA in the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003. One hundred consecutive mental health reports from January to February 2008 were examined using a questionnaire.
More than half the mental health reports noted lack of insight as the main cause of SIDMA. Other reasons for SIDMA included limited cognitive function and presence of psychotic symptoms.
Five reasons for SIDMA were identified: lack of insight, cognitive impairment, presence of psychosis, severe depressive symptoms and learning disability. We recommend psychiatrists working in Scotland give full descriptions of SIDMA, indicating how this has an impact on the patient's ability to make decisions.
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