[The influence of statutory representation for mentally ill involuntarily committed on the duration of the admission and the time for readmission].

Hagai Maoz, Israel Kriger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

About 25% of psychiatric admissions in Israel are involuntary. In 2004 the Israeli law was reformed and an addition to the law declared that the patients involuntarily committed are entitled to have a statutory representation during the psychiatric committee discussions on the prolongation of their hospitalization. This amendment raised concern in the psychiatric society that the representation will result in the premature discharge of some of the patients and will increase the "revolving door" phenomenon, meaning that many of the patients will be quickly readmitted. To examine whether the amendment to the law, which entitles statutory representation to patients in psychiatric committees discussing the prolongation of their admission caused shortening of the time for readmission. We retrospectively examined the records of 2 groups of patients that were admitted to "Shalvata" Mental Health Center in the periods 1/6/03-31/5/04 (n = 108) and 1/1/05-31/12/05 (n = 167)--before and after the amendment. We compared the extent of prolongation of the commitment and the time for readmission. There were no differences between the groups in terms of total duration of hospitalization and the extent of prolongation of the commitment, and there was no difference in the time to readmission. It was found that for patients who appealed against the decision of the district psychiatrist in the early stages of hospitalization and whose appeal had been granted, there was a shortening of the time for readmission. Statutory representation for patients who are involuntarily admitted did not shorten the time to rehospitalization and did not increase the "revolving door phenomenon, except for patients who were discharged by the committee during their first week of hospitalization, following an appeal against the original order for their involuntary commitment, issued by the district psychiatrist.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-234, 305
JournalHarefuah
Volume150
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011

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