Does involuntary outpatient commitment lead to more intensive treatment?

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Studies of involuntary outpatient commitment (OPC) among persons with severe mental illness have concluded that OPC is only effective in improving treatment outcomes when it is sustained for 6 months or longer and is combined with frequent outpatient services. This article explores factors that influence the delivery of outpatient services to subjects in a randomized trial of OPC and finds 2 general patterns. Outpatient visits were more frequent among all subjects with apparent clinical need, regardless of study assignment, and among subjects whose OPC was sustained beyond an initial court order. These results suggest that, in practice, sustained OPC represents a consensual agreement between clinicians and the court to more intensively address the complex needs of persons with severe and persistent mental illness.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wagner, HR; Swartz, MS; swanson, JW; Burns, BJ

Published Date

  • 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 9 / 1-2

Start / End Page

  • 145 - 158

PubMed ID

  • 16700140

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1076-8971

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/1076-8971.9.1-2.145


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States