Psychiatric hospitalization of senile and arteriosclerotic dementia patients by commitment order under the 1991 Israeli Mental Health Act

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Abstract

Data regarding commitment orders issued by district psychiatrists for elderly patients aged 65 years or older were obtained from the national psychiatric case register. Out of a total of 2 284 commitment orders issued in Israel in the period 1 January 1992 to 30 June 1993 under the 1991 Mental Health Act, 191 (8.3%) involved patients aged 65 and over; these orders were issued for the commitment of 169 patients who suffered from the following ICD-9-CM diagnoses on discharge: senile and arteriosclerotic dementia; transient organic psychotic conditions; schizophrenic disorders; affective psychoses; paranoid states; or other psychiatric disorders. Demographic and clinical characteristics of the senile and arteriosclerotic dementia patients were compared with the same variables in the other diagnostic categories. Results showed that (a) involuntary commitment of senile and arteriosclerotic dementia patients involved a small minority of dementia sufferers; (b) it was usually the patients' first psychiatric admission; (c) most of the patients were discharged within a one-month period; and (d) most of the patients were referred for continuation of treatment in non-psychiatric institutions. Findings (c) and [d) characterized other diagnostic categories as well. The relevance of these findings to the Mental Health Act is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-478
Number of pages8
JournalMedicine and Law
Volume14
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

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