Patient-centered, recovery-oriented psychiatric care and treatment are not always voluntary

Psychiatr Serv. 2012;63(5):493-5. doi: 10.1176/


Explicitly coercive measures are sometimes necessary in the care and treatment of psychiatric patients. The author describes how use of such measures is not antithetical to patient-centered, recovery-oriented practice either in inpatient or outpatient settings. Citing a definition widely used by advocates to describe the overarching goal of recovery--"a full, meaningful, and self-determined life in the community … regardless of psychiatric status"--the author draws parallels between coercive measures taken by society to prevent and treat citizens' dangerous behaviors, such as speeding and public inebriation, and coercive interventions to address dangerous behaviors of psychiatric patients, such as harm to self or others. Society applies coercive interventions to address dangerous behaviors, not psychiatric status.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Advance Directives
  • Aged
  • Coercion*
  • Commitment of Mentally Ill*
  • Dangerous Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Patient Rights
  • Patient-Centered Care / ethics
  • Patient-Centered Care / methods*
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Schizophrenia / therapy
  • Social Control, Formal*