Involuntary hospitalization of delirium patients in Israel: A psychiatric case register study

J. Heinik, R. Mester, M. Avnon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This paper compares the national Psychiatric Case Register (PCR) data of two groups of delirium patients who were admitted to psychiatric hospitals. One group consists of patients who underwent involuntary civil commitment following a hospitalization order by a district psychiatrist. The second group consists of delirium patients who were voluntarily admitted. During the period 1984-1993, 805 patients with a diagnosis of delirium were admitted to psychiatric hospitals: 710 (88%) were admitted on a voluntary basis, 88 (10.9% were admitted through civil commitment, 7 (0.8%) were admitted in other ways. The two major groups are further analysed regarding demographic, clinical and administrative variables. No statistically significant differences were found between the groups concerning the clinical and administrative variables studied (type of admission, suicide attempt prior to admission, length of hospitalization, type of discharge). Given the prevailing tendency to treat delirium patients in general hospitals, the small number of those involuntarily admitted and the lack of clinical and administrative differences between the groups, the appropriateness of civil commitment procedures regarding delirium patients is questioned.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-124
Number of pages14
JournalMedicine and Law
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


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