Commitment: the consistency of clinicians and the use of legal standards
Department of Psychiatry
Medical Subject Headings
Commitment of Mentally Ill; Dangerous Behavior; Decision Making; Emergency Services, Psychiatric; Forensic Psychiatry; Hospitalization; Humans; Mental Disorders; *Mentally Ill Persons; United States
Law | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology
The reliability and validity of the application of legal criteria for commitment were investigated as part of a larger study. Evaluations of 411 patients by 96 different clinicians showed good interrater reliability for assessment of dangerousness and committability. A strong relationship between ratings of committability and ratings of dangerousness suggests that clinicians were conforming to the logic of the commitment law. Discrepant cases involved patients who desired voluntary admission or whose commitment was completed elsewhere. Results suggest fair application of commitment standards but that two issues of statutory interpretation confused participating clinicians.
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Citation: Am J Psychiatry. 1989 Feb;146(2):176-81.
Lidz, Charles W.; Mulvey, Edward P.; Appelbaum, Paul S.; and Cleveland, Sandra, "Commitment: the consistency of clinicians and the use of legal standards" (1989). Systems and Psychosocial Advances Research Center Publications and Presentations. 71.