Practices and attitudes among Swedish psychiatrists regarding the ethics of compulsory treatment

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1996 May;93(5):389-96. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1996.tb10665.x.


Few empirical studies have examined the attitudes and ethical beliefs of psychiatrists. In this study, 328 members of the Swedish Psychiatric Association were randomly selected to respond to a questionnaire containing three clinical vignettes examining involuntary hospitalization, other compulsory interventions, and restraint. The questionnaire also contained 16 controversial statements and items on the abuse of psychiatry. A 60% response rate was obtained. Psychiatrists' responses were influenced not only by the severity of and risks associated with the patient's disorder, but also by family pressure which affected the decision-making process. Female psychiatrists less often suggested the use of physical restraints and the compulsory use of ECT. Sexual misconduct, and also the inadequate treatment of refugees, were the most frequently reported forms of abuse of psychiatry.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Commitment of Mentally Ill*
  • Dangerous Behavior
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy
  • Ethics, Medical*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mentally Ill Persons*
  • Middle Aged
  • Paternalism
  • Professional Misconduct
  • Psychiatry*
  • Restraint, Physical
  • Sampling Studies
  • Sweden