[Involuntary detention and seclusion measures in psychiatry: Where are we now? A regional Centre-Val de Loire 2012-2017 study]

Rev Epidemiol Sante Publique. 2020 Jun;68(3):155-161. doi: 10.1016/j.respe.2020.02.001. Epub 2020 Apr 17.
[Article in French]


Background: The French legal framework in psychiatry for involuntary detention (ID) and seclusion measures was modified in 2011 and 2016, respectively. This study aimed to describe the evolution of ID and seclusion measures in the Centre-Val de Loire region (CVL France) between 2012 and 2017, using the psychiatric hospital discharge database.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted, including adult patients (≥ 18 years old) from CVL hospitalized in psychiatry or included in a care program (outpatient care) between 2012 and 2017. Hospital stays for each patient were identified by an anonymized number.

Results: In 2017 in CVL, 13,942 patients were hospitalised for psychiatric reasons, with 2378 in ID (17%), a proportion that has remained stable since 2012. Among them, 3% were in care due to imminent danger (+ 54% since 2013, stabilisation since 2016), and 11% were hospitalized following a third party request (-13%). However, regarding location results varied from one department to the next. Seclusion measures involved 10% of full-time patients (stable), 27% of ID patients and 3% of those under voluntary care (stable). One quarter of the secluded patients were in voluntary care. Mean seclusion duration was 12 days, consecutive or not, and somewhat less for patients in voluntary care alone (10 days).

Conclusion: The region wide ID rate and average duration of seclusion were lower than the nationwide rate (24% in full-time ID in 2015; 15 days of seclusion/patient), whereas the number of imminent danger procedures increased, as did the persistence of seclusion measures for patients in voluntary care (recommended only as a last resort and/or for ID patients). These results should lead to renewed assessment of care center practices. The French psychiatric hospital discharge database has several limitations, including lack of financial incentive and highly complex structuration. However, since 2018 new data regarding seclusion and restraint measures have been added to the existing registry, and they should facilitate more accurate analyses, particularly as concerns restraint.

Keywords: Hospital discharge database; Involuntary detention; Isolement; PMSI; Psychiatrie; Psychiatry; Seclusion; Soins sans consentement.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • History, 21st Century
  • Hospitalization / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospitals, Psychiatric / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Involuntary Commitment* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Involuntary Treatment, Psychiatric / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Involuntary Treatment, Psychiatric / statistics & numerical data*
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Isolation / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Patient Isolation / psychology
  • Patient Isolation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Restraint, Physical / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Restraint, Physical / psychology
  • Restraint, Physical / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult