Objective: This study reports the first published Canadian profile of a sample of psychiatric patients from the Royal Ottawa Hospital in Ottawa, Ontario, who were issued community treatment orders (CTOs).
Method: We undertook a population study of sociodemographic and health care use patterns from January 2001 to September 2003, using a standardized information collection tool.
Results: The issuance of CTOs was associated with a statistically significant reduction in the number and length of hospital admissions and increased use of supportive community-based services and supportive housing.
Conclusion: CTOs are effective tools for allowing patients to live in the least restrictive setting possible while they receive diverse services. They also effectively reduce rates and lengths of readmission to hospital.