The effectiveness of outpatient civil commitment

Psychiatr Serv. 1996 Nov;47(11):1251-3. doi: 10.1176/ps.47.11.1251.


The effects of outpatient civil commitment on community tenure and functioning were studied in a group of 20 patients with a history of recurrent hospitalizations, noncompliance with outpatient treatment, and good response to treatment. During the first 12 months of outpatient commitment, patients experienced significant reductions in visits to the psychiatric emergency service, hospital admissions, and lengths of stay compared with the 12 months before commitment. They significantly increased the number of appointments kept with their psychiatrist. It appears that when used judiciously, outpatient civil commitment is a helpful tool in maintaining hospital recidivists in the community.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bipolar Disorder / psychology
  • Bipolar Disorder / therapy*
  • Commitment of Mentally Ill / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Community Mental Health Services / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ohio
  • Patient Readmission
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology
  • Psychotic Disorders / therapy*
  • Schizophrenia / therapy*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Treatment Refusal / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Treatment Refusal / psychology