The impact of broadened civil commitment standards on admissions to state mental hospitals

Am J Psychiatry. 1985 Jan;142(1):104-7. doi: 10.1176/ajp.142.1.104.


In 1979, the state of Washington broadened its criteria governing the involuntary commitment of the mentally ill. This study examined the impact of the revised law on involuntary and voluntary admissions and on the type of patient admitted to state hospitals in Washington. The short-term effect of the law was an abrupt increase in involuntary commitments, with a concomitant but not offsetting decline in voluntary admissions. Although the law resulted in a substantial change in admissions policy, it does not appear to have altered the type of patient admitted to state mental hospitals in Washington.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Commitment of Mentally Ill / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Deinstitutionalization
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospitals, Psychiatric / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hospitals, Public / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hospitals, State / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Mentally Ill Persons*
  • Public Opinion
  • Seasons
  • Washington