Encouraging pursuit of court-ordered treatment in a state hospital

Psychiatr Serv. 2001 Dec;52(12):1656-7. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.52.12.1656.


The authors discuss a performance improvement project designed to encourage staff psychiatrists at a large state hospital to more assertively pursue the option of court-ordered treatment for severely mentally ill inpatients who refuse medication for more than a week. A campaign was undertaken in 1997 to educate psychiatrists about the importance of using psychotropic medications early in a patient's hospital stay. A monthly report is now circulated to all personnel identifying units on which patients have refused medication for more than a week and psychiatrists who have filed court petitions. The number of petitions filed annually has doubled, from 97 in the year before the project to 192 four years later.

MeSH terms

  • Commitment of Mentally Ill*
  • Health Promotion*
  • Hospitalization
  • Hospitals, Psychiatric
  • Hospitals, State
  • Humans
  • Jurisprudence*
  • Mental Disorders / drug therapy
  • Mental Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use


  • Psychotropic Drugs